Bob Karper
Bob Karper performance artist

Solo Shows

My first performance experience was a Chats Palace Pick & Mix live art cabaret in 2001, and since then I’ve made 20+ solo performances of varying length, winning multiple awards and grants, and devised and performed dozens of shows with other companies that regularly tour around the world. Shows I’ve helped create have won the Herald Angel, Anti-Fest Best of the Best Award, Mimetic Festival Best Director, Reykjavik Fringe Artist Favourite, Live Theatre New Writing Award and Empty Space Bursary Award.


Oh! Suburbia!

Where are the suburbs of our consciousness? What are the suburbs of ourselves? Oh! Suburbia! is a completely idiosyncratic and beguiling show about life growing up in the suburban American Midwest*.

When I was a boy, the world turned upside down. My buttoned-up anti-social plumber father - in an uncharacteristic impulse of recklessness - joined the Palos Village Players amateur dramatics company, just as they were workshopping the 1970s phenomenon, Oh! Calcutta! According to Wikipedia: ‘The 1970s phenomenon, Oh! Calcutta! was an avant-garde theatrical revue filled with sketches on sex-related topics and featuring extended scenes of total nudity, both male and female.’ I was nine years old. My parents called me Bobby Junior.** My sheltered suburban life was never the same again…

Oh! Suburbia! presents funny, intriguing, surprising tales of life in our residential outlying districts in the form of an avant-garde theatrical revue, a one-man avant-garde theatrical review: mixing film, songs, experimental dance*** and live musical stories about unjust childhood punishments, playground heroism, meticulously planned escapes, tragedy and comedy, life and death and everything in between. You’ll love it. Come and see.

*In Palos Heights, a southwest suburb of Chicago. **My father is also called Bob. ***I am not a dancer.



That’s Me on the Left, in the Parka

Normal can be extraordinary.

If you look in detail at an everyday life you can find art.

There is beauty and inspiration right under the couch.

That's Me on the Left, in the Parka is a warm, funny, moving show about self-consciousness and the nature of love that makes audience members think, feel and leave delighted. It presents real lives of ordinary people - family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues - set to music, with slides & film, humor & compassion. Stories of childhood piano lessons, multi-generational break-ups, tales of revenge & comeuppance, emotional refrigerators and much more...

The set is a self-built upright piano that acts as a visual metaphor - through the show it comes to life. The piano is played, projected on, and crawled inside. It moves on its own, trap doors open, instruments pop out, the back lifts off, drawers pull out and walls swivel, until everything - inside and out - is opened wide.

That’s Me on the Left, in the Parka is available to tour.