Wilbur the Optical Whale

BY indelability arts in partnership with FLIPSIDE CIRCUS
WINNER MATILDA AWARD: ‘BEST independent production’ 2020-21

Empire Theatre (Toowoomba), September 2019
Brisbane Festival, September 2019
Premiere season Metro Arts, 2018


Running time 55 minutes.
Large cast and small cast versions available for touring.


Wilbur the Optical Whale

WILBUR THE OPTICAL WHALE is an engaging performance that takes audiences on a deep-sea sensory dive.

Based on the book by Karen Lee Roberts, Wilbur the Optical Whale is a ‘tail’ about friendship, acceptance, and celebrating difference. Wilbur and Cecil are the best of friends and one day while playing hide and seaweed, they are set upon by the Starfish Meanie Gang! How do they get out of this one?

Wilbur the Optical Whale is an immersive, interactive and accessible performance for children aged 3+. It is set in an exquisitely crafted underwater world full of fun, interactive play, stunning circus tricks, digital and visual imagery, and music. All performances are Auslan interpreted, and are presented as ‘relaxed’.

Wilbur the Optical Whale has since won the 2022 Matilda Award for Best Independent Production, the 2020 Adelaide Fringe Access Award, and a 2020 weekly John Chataway Innovation Award.


Writer: Karen Lee Roberts
Director: Catarina Hebbard
Dramaturg: Elise Greig
Physical theatre performance: Clint Bolster
Set and costume designers: Chancie Jessop and Jessica Bennett
AV Design: Lee Evans
Composer / Sound Designer: Phil Hagstrom
Flipside trainers/performers: Davy Sampford, Kelsey Adams and Izzy Lawton
Stage Manager: Jeremy Gordon


“You will find yourself smiling that there is still good in the world, and that the crew… have made it their mission to make sure everyone is included & accepted for who they are.”


“The world of Wilbur the Whale inspires the imagination.”


Supported by Queensland Arts Showcase Program funding (QASP) through the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (JWCoCA)