About Rainer Hersch

Rainer Hersch is a comedian and musician who has performed on every major comedy stage in Britain and abroad.  He has appeared thirteen times at the Edinburgh Festival, had numerous comedy-concert series at the South Bank in London, featured in comedy clubs all across Europe and in TV shows around the world.

    1. How did it all begin?

    Rainer’s career in comedy started as a schoolboy in London.  When he wasn’t playing the piano, he used to watch Monty Python and dream of doing the ‘Argument Clinic’ sketch.

    2. A student of economics!

    He went to university and studied Economics.  This was definitely a mistake.  If someone told him now he only had three months to live, he has always said he would go back to university and do another degree in Economics because, like that, three months would seem like an absolute eternity.

    3. A career in comedy

    Rainer had jobs with various orchestras but, unknown to his employers, he started moonlighting on the London comedy circuit telling jokes about flying.  And sex.  You know, normal stand-up stuff.

    4. First solo shows

    As he got more successful, he started writing and performing one-man performances for fringe festivals.  His first solo show was called ‘The Massed Bands of the Grenadier Guards and R.A.F. Fly-past + support’.  At one venue, a woman asked for a refund because, in the whole sixty minutes, there hadn’t actually been any Grenadier Guards or a single Fly-past.

    5. ACME

    For his third appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, he wrote ‘All Classical Music Explained’ – a guide to “How to play instruments without practicing”; “Why is organ music so boring?” and “What do conductors actually do?”  He loved talking about his favourite subject, music in a funny way and audiences loved watching him.  Rainer had discovered his thing.  He gave up his last straight job at the orchestra.

    6. Radio & TV

    Rainer formed his own Rainer Hersch Orkestra and trained as a conductor.  He started doing his comedy on radio and TV.  This is when  he began to receive invitations to work with other orchestras around the world using his funny arrangements and hosting the concert with stand-up comedy.  Now he has conducted more orchestras than you can wave a stick at.  Boom boom.

    7. The journey continues

    Rainer carries on doing all his fun things – solo shows, making TV and radio programmes – mostly for the BBC – conducting and cooking-up comedy routines for orchestras.  He still lives in London and still dreams, one day, of doing the Monty Python ‘Argument Clinic’ sketch.

    The Rainer Hersch Orkestra

    One of Rainer Hersch’s most exciting musical adventures features him as conductor of his own nine piece orchestra with a zany offering of musical comedy and wit guaranteed to have the audiences rolling in the aisles. Rainer Hersch and his classical ‘Orkestra’ communicates, connects and corrupts some of the great works of classical music. A popular highlight is when Rainer invites members of the audience to participate in a conducting competition with hilarious results! 

    International reaction

    ‘At last a musical comedian with a difference – he is really funny’ The Daily Telegraph, UK

    ‘Victor Borge for a new generation’ The Times, UK

    ‘The musical world on its head. That’s exactly what the brilliant Beethoven Orchestra Bonn achieved at the highest musical level under the direction of Rainer Hersch’ General Anzeiger, Germany

    ‘A music comic with intelligent humour who created a storm of laughter…’ Basler Zeitung, Switzerland

    ‘The world’s first classical music hooligan’ Vancouver Sun, Canada

    ‘… but perhaps the greatest trick of the entire night was making a classical symphony concert the coolest – and funkiest – show in town’ Winnipeg Free Press, Canada

    ‘Rainer Hersch has found a true comedy goldmine’ The Australian

    ‘Hersch has done a brilliant job of creating contemporary comedy from a style of music often perceived as fusty and elitist…glorious’ 3 News, New Zealand

    ‘Part one-man theatre piece, part live biography, part stand-up, part piano bash and totally terrific’ New Zealand Herald

    ‘Roll over Beethoven, here’s Hersch’ Singapore Straits Times