This page is about the shows Rainer currently has in his repertoire.  To see where Rainer is next performing click here

All Classical Music Explained
Rainer Hersch's Victor Borge
Rainer Hersch Conductor & Host
Organtastic!
Mozart: Ze Komplete Hystery

 

All Classical Music Explained

All Classical Music Explained (ACME) is a  stand-up comedy show with a difference.  Rainer Hersch - is a a multi-talented comedian and musician who is equally at home closing the show at the famous Comedy Store in London or conducting the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.  With All Classical Music Explained he turns his comic skills on those awkward questions: "Why is organ music so boring?"; "How can I play a musical instrument without practising?"; "What do conductors actually do?".  From playing the recorder to Grand Opera - it's all here plus piano playing like you have never heard.

ACME has been turned into two series for the BBC.  Excerpts from the show are also available on CD.  This is a comedy show with an edge for audiences of all ages and is intended for anyone who enjoys music of whatever kind.

ACME has appeared at:

Edinburgh Festival, Purcell Room (South Bank, London), Henley Festival, Perth Festival (Scotland), Belfast Festival, Wexford Opera Festival (Republic of Ireland), Adelaide Festival (Australia), Grahamstown Festival (South Africa), Edmonton Festival (Canada), Comed'in Festival (Lisbon), Felicja Blumental Festival (Israel) and many others.

Press:

"A brilliant touch of comic madness" Time Out, London

"Not Since Victor Borge has a music-comic raised the roof with such continuous laughter" The Post, South Africa

"This swift and very funny hour is the perfect prelude to a night at the concert hall - or an evening in the pub" The Scotsman, Edinburgh Festival

Length:

Variable.  Anything from 20 minutes to 90 minutes plus interval.

On Stage:

  • Piano + stool
  • Assorted other instruments including a clarinet, didgeridoo and talking drum
  • Central Microphone on a stand
  • A screen with data projector and computer
  • A minidisc player operated by Rainer

Technical Rider P.A.:

  • First class stereo PA system to include SM58 on a stand, 2 stereo D.I. boxes, cabling, minidisc player, CD player and operator. Also:
  • 1 x clip-on radio mic
  • 1 x long lead / radio mic on a straight stand
  • Grand Piano plus stool with cabinet (An electric keyboard can be substituted for engagements where a grand piano is not practical in which case the rider includes a keyboard stand)
  • Facilities for PowerPoint projection - screen commensurate with the size of the venue - RGB connection to Rainer's laptop on stage. Stereo minijack sound connection to Rainer's laptop for sound output.

Lighting:

  • Warm wash lighting for stage, 2 specials (one on the piano, one on the central microphone)

Misc:

  • 1 x small low table
  • Dressing room for 1
  • Dinner and light refreshments for 2 between rehearsal and performance

 

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Rainer Hersch's Victor Borge

Victor Borge was a brilliant pianist, virtuoso comedian and, at one point, the highest paid entertainer in the world. In Rainer Hersch’s Victor Borge the Great Dane’s hilarious act has been lovingly re-imagined for the 21st century by his natural successor, Rainer Hersch.

On stage, Rainer plays the role of both Borge and himself as he tells the stories of both men with charm and wit. This intriguing production was a total sellout at the Assembly Rooms in the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival under the title Borge Again! In a full two-act version, he is also joined by a pianist for an hilarious duet rendition of the Liszt 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody.

RAINER HERSCH'S VICTOR BORGE HAS APPEARED AT:

Edinburgh Festival, The Venue Theatre (London), Perth Festival (Scotland), Chichester Festivities, Buxton Opera House, Montreal Festival, Winnipeg Festival.  Also at arts centres and theatres across Britain.

Press:

"It's hard to imagine that if the great Victor Borge himself had taken the stage, he would be more entertaining that Rainer Hersch's tear-streamingly funny tribute" Scotsman

"Victor Borge for a new generation" The Sunday Times

"Two great comics for the price of one.  5 Stars" Edinburgh Metro

Length:

In one act: Total playing time 75 ". In two acts: Total playing time 1'35" (first half 50", second half 45").

On Stage:

  • Piano + stool
  • Central Microphone on a stand
  • A screen with data projector and computer

Technical Rider P.A.:

  • First class stereo PA system to include SM58 on a stand, 1 stereo D.I. box, cabling, CD player and operator.  Also:
  • 1 x clip-on radio mic
  • 1 x long lead / radio mic on a straight stand
  • Grand Piano
  • Facilities for PowerPoint projection - screen commensurate with the size of the venue - RGB connection to Rainer's laptop operated off-stage.  Stereo minijack sound connection to Rainer's laptop for sound output.

Lighting:

  • Warm wash lighting for stage, 2 specials (one on the piano, one on the central microphone).  A more detailed lighting plot is available if appropriate to the facilities in the theatre.

Misc:

  • 1 x small low table
  • Dressing room for 2
  • Dinner and light refreshments for 3 between rehearsal and performance

 

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Rainer Hersch Conductor & Host

Rainer Hersch is a trained conductor who blends stand-up comedy, witty orchestral arrangements and audience favourites into a polished classical concert. He performs with orchestras around the world.

Programmes available for:

  • Full orchestra [2222:423(1) (H) 2P Strings]
  • Orchestra with reduced scoring [0010:100 +1P strings]
  • Choir accompanied by piano or orchestra

Rainer has PERFORMED WITH

members of Auckland Philharmonia (NZ), Basel Kammerorchester (CH), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (UK), Elgin, Symphony Orchestra (US), Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (CAN), members of the Hannover Opera Orchestra (DE), Johann Strauss Orchestra (tours 2013 & 2014) (UK), Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (CAN), Leicester Symphony Orchestra (UK), London Concert Orchestra (UK), London Gala Orchestra (UK), London Firebird Orchestra (UK), Orquesta de Cámara de Nuevo León (MEX), Philharmonia Orchestra (UK), Philharmonia Britannica (UK), Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra (UK), St Pauli Kurorchester (DE), St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (RU), Symphony Nova Scotia (CAN), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (AUS), Tel Aviv Soloists (ISR), The Queensland Orchestra (AUS), Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CAN)
...and many more.

Video CLIPS

CONCERT CAN BE PERFORMED IN

English, German, French, Spanish

COMEDY REPERTOIRE INCLUDES

Arne/Hersch: God Save The Queen
Arne/Hersch: Rule Britannia
Beethoven/Steven Baker: ‘Ode to Joy’ theme played in the style of audience suggestions
Beethoven/Hersch: Emperor Concerto
Bizet/Hersch: Carmen Overture
Handel/Hersch: Firework Music
Hersch: Abbreviated Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven
Hersch: Cinema Sounds
Hersch: Commercial Music Nokia, British Airways
Hersch: Composers’ Inspiration: Beethoven, Chopin, Rossini, Offenbach
Hersch: Concert by Candlelight (Improvised)
Hersch: Conducting Competition
Hersch: Elgar v. ABBA
Hersch: Endings (how to tell one composer apart from aonther)
Hersch: Symphony of Audience Sounds
Hersch: Where’s the Justice in That?
Hersch: Windows Sounds and Waltz
Johann Strauss II/Hersch: Blue Danube
Johann Strauss II/Hersch: Fledermaus Overture
Johann Strauss II/Hersch: Laughing Song (with soprano)
Johann Strauss II/Hersch: Perpetuum Mobile
Johann Strauss II/Hersch: Schwipslied (with soprano)
Mozart/Hersch: Recitative and Aria “come scoglio” (with soprano)
Mozart/Hersch: Symphony no.40
Pachelbel/Hersch: Pachelbel Canon (conducting the audience)
Pachelbel/Steven Baker: Canon-Pop Song mash-up
Prokoviev/Hersch: Soviet Archers
Rossini/Hersch: Largo al factotum (with Baritone)
Rossini/Hersch: William Tell overture
Saint-Saëns/Hersch: Fossiles International                      
Smetana/Hersch: Dance of the Comedians
Strauss I/Hersch: Radetzky March
Strauss/Hersch: Juggling Pizzicato Polka
Trad/Hersch: Hornpipe ‘Jack’s the lad’

reviews/Testimonials

  • Gerard Hoffnung meets Victor Borge with some cheeky stand-up humour thrown in for good measure.” The Times
  • "The funniest concert you'll ever see" Time Out, London
  • "You'll never see another show quite like this" Edinburgh Evening News
  • "Monty Python meets stand-up comedy via Vivaldi. Hilarious" Leicester Mercury
  • "Hersch has presented a fair number of comedy programmes on the radio, but you really have to see him live to appreciate how skillfully he can weave together music and mirth.  And the beauty of it is that you don't have to know your Bach from your Elgar to appreciate the punchlines..." Evening Standard Comedy Choice
  • English stand-up comic/conductor Rainer Hersch had them rolling in the aisles at the Cohn Friday night for his 'Last Night of the Proms . . . Ever' pops concert with Symphony Nova Scotia" The Chronicle Herald, Halifax
  • "Hersch accomplished the near impossible: making a classical symphony concert the coolest - and funkiest - show in town" Winnipeg Free Press
  • "We engaged Rainer Hersch and his classical comedy show, “All Classical Music Explained” this season, and could not have been happier with the reception. The audience was hugely entertained, engaged and happy from start to finish, and the orchestra had a lot of fun too. It is a hilarious, clever show, and Rainer is a terrific comic – I’d recommend this presentation to any orchestra looking for a ‘can’t miss’ comedic Pops presentation." James Sommerville, Music Director, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

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Organtastic!

An hour show about the organ for children aged 8 and above asks the question 'To smash or not to smash?'

Rainer takes the role as spokesperson for The Organisation for Organ Havoc (O.O.H), not to be confused with their arch rivals the Association for Artistic Harmony (A.A.H).  O.O.H.'s declared aim is to 'smash up all the organs of the world and use the bits for something else' as made clear by their motto 'Si in Nuto Smash is Sursum' or 'If in doubt, Smash it up'.

“O.O.H. believe that smashing up the organ will make a lot of space and save money'.  Says Rainer: 'the pipes alone have got enough metal in them to make 418 cars, 8682 scooters or 48,263,820 metal bits off pencils'

Does anyone care enough to save the organ?  Certainly the organ's residents, organ mice, hope so.  But if there is one thing O.O.H. hate more than organs its little furry animals...

Organtastic was commissioned by Bridgewater Hall in Manchester as part of their Organ Outreach Programme and is performed with organist Daniel Moult

Length:

1 hour

On Stage:

The organ or remote manuals played by Daniel Moult

Assorted instruments including organ pipes, stylophone and casio keyboard

Microphone on a stand

Lectern

A screen with data projector and computer

Technical Rider P.A.:

First class stereo PA system to include SM58 on a stand, 2 stereo D.I. boxes, cabling, minidisc player, CD player and operator.  Also:

1 x clip-on radio mic

1 x long lead / radio mic on a straight stand

Facilities for PowerPoint projection - screen commensurate with the size of the venue - RGB connection to Rainer's laptop on stage.  Stereo minijack sound connection to Rainer's laptop for sound output.

Lighting:

Any available lighting

Misc:

1 x small low table

Dressing room for 2

Light refreshments for 2 between rehearsal and performance

 

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Mozart: Ze Komplete Hystery

(Previously called 'Mozart's Back'). After 250 years, a hilarious Wolfgang Amadeus is back from the dead.  Yes, the genius of Salzburg returns with the truth about his life and death and to ask ‘what happened to all the royalties?’

In this brand new incarnation Mozart is joined on stage by a couple of his most ardent admirers – two sopranos who charm Mozart and the audience with songs of celebration and commiseration as our hero takes on the worlds experts who have analysed everything from his handwriting to how many times he used the word ‘bottom’. 

This is a show with a guaranteed laugh every four bars:  Mozart the piano virtuoso; Mozart the stand-up comedian; Mozart the Blind Date contestant – its all here and more.

Mozart’s Back premiered at:

Edinburgh Festival 2006.  It also appeared at Canford Summer School and HPP's Festival of Comedy. In 2010 it ran for a two week season at Arts at the Barns, Edmonton, Canada.

Press:

“The show inventively re-writes everything you knew about Mozart, with a flair which leaves your face aching from laugher…" Three Weeks, Edinburgh"

"Mozart’s Back is a production of real quality and style sustained all the way through" One4review, Edinburgh

“This is a witty and skilful homage to Mozart's amazing life and work, with ironic sideswipes at the Mozart heritage industry. The show has Hersch's trademark combination of sharp script, virtuoso musicianship and gentle humour.” Edfringe.com

Length:

65 minutes

 

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Copyright ©2009-13 Rainer Hersch. Comedian and Classical Musician from Britain. rainer-info@thecomedy.biz