Borge again | Arts + Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Borge again

Rainer Hersch’s tribute to Victor Borge ties two comedic lives together.

When the brilliant Danish comedian and musician Victor Borge encountered people who were expecting to hear him play a program of classical music, he'd say something along the lines of: If you want to go to a concert, go to a concert, don't come and see me.

"Borge was all about the comedy of surprise, the objective perverted," explains Rainer Hersch, the British classical music comedian who has brought his one-man Borge show to The Atlantic Fringe. "He was a very good pianist, but he never felt that he was a great, world-class pianist."

Hersch, who makes his living writing and performing shows such as All Classical Music Explained and Mozart: Ze Komplete Hystery, didn't discover Borge until several reviewers made favourable comparisons between the two. After some research, Hersch decided he'd found comic gold.

Rainer Hersch's Victor Borge has played to sold-out crowds around the world, and Hersch describes it as a tribute from one stand-up to another. Borge's biography, tidbits from Hersch's own life and many of Borge's famous comedy routines---check out "Phonetic Punctuation" on YouTube for a taste---are all woven together.

 "I tell Victor Borge's life story, but it's a comic, not a straight, retelling," says Hersch. "But certainly in amongst the comedy there are the truthful, poignant moments."

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