As the world opened up, 2022 proved to be a huge year for live theatre. And what a way to start, with Wilbur the Optical Whale, produced by indelabilityarts, winning the 2021 Matilda Award for Best Independent Production.
March marked the return of Chameleon to the Adelaide Fringe. Their previous visit was in 2018 when the show was still known as It’s Not Easy Being Green. Karen and Jeff played to great crowds at the charismatic Diverse-City theatre in the heart of Adelaide.
Following her successful season at Diverse-City, Karen joined her fellow indelabilityats ensemble to bring Wilbur the Oprical Whale back to Adelaide for the first time since it’s international debut in 2020.
In April, fresh from the Fringe, Chameleon returned to Brisbane and filled the RPAC stage with colour at Stage Sessions 2.0. This was a great experience to work with the talented team at RPAC and to play to an intimate crowd.
During June and July the indelabilityarts team took to the road and brought Wilbur the Optical Whale to far north and regional Queensland. Karen and her fellow actors and crew entertained the big kids and little kids in Moranbah, Bundaberg, Townsville and Ipswich.
This year was also the first time Karen has teamed up with Oliver Hetherington-Page to perform Chameleon and the No Bang Theory side by side as a double billing. Indelabilityarts produced the shows at HOTA Gold Coast in September, in the quirky and charismatic Basement, and in December at Pip Theatre Milton, a brand new theatre just made for cabarets.
November marked a major achievement as Sex and Other Philosophies, a colaboration with Lucinda Shaw and James Halloran, made its first development showing at Pip Theatre. Colourful, thought provoking, fun, and never taking itself seriously, this new cabaret was thrown out there (along with plenty of lollies), with stunning costumes by Jess Bennett, and original music from Karen, Lucinda and James. Keep an eye out for its debut performances in 2023.
To finish the year, Wilbur The Optical Whale played seasons at the Wynnum Fringe Festival in November at the Bayside Music Hall, and in December at Pip Theatre. Filling the spaces with Wilbur’s underwater world, and sharing his tale with the wonderful audiences, giving Brisbane a final chance to see the show this year.
Sadly Jack Rebbeck passed away at the beginning of this year. He was an incredible person, a talented artist, and put so much of himself into the lead character of Wilbur The Optical Whale on stage. He has truly been missed by all and will forever be remembered as The Original Wilbur.