Hear a new twist on classics

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Multi-award winning showman and conductor Rainer Hersch is to grace Aylesbury in a brand new show based on the best of Viennese tradition in music and dance.

Building on Raymond Gubbay’s long established Johann Strauss Gala and incorporating the freshness of a new production, One Night in Vienna features Hersch taking a light-hearted journey through an assortment of song and dance.

The entertainer rose to fame in the mid-90s with his comic take on classical music. And as a die-hard Strauss fan he cannot wait to get stuck into the production, featuring Johann Strauss dancers and soprano Charlotte Ellett.

He said: “It’s like a gift to be able to do a show with this music. To be asked to do this concert is like being told ‘go into the toy shop and choose the stuff you want to play with’.”

The performance will range from the Strauss family’s classic works including The Blue Danube Waltz and Radetzky March to timeless dance music from Tchaikovsky and Lehar, but with Hersch’s comic twist.

But he brushes off those who say his work is disrespectful to the arts. Hersch has studied music from a young age and presented many shows on the BBC and Classic FM.

He said: “It comes from the heart, I really do love the music. So when I criticise it’s from the point of view of somebody that knows it.”

Hersch began his working life in music but slowly moved into stand up. However he could not keep music out of his life and began working with orchestras, a path which led to his current style of shows. Many people might associate such a style with Tim Minchin, but Hersch was there first.

The entertainer has travelled all over the world to perform, but cannot recall a previous trip to Aylesbury. But to make up for lost time, he plans to spend a while taking in the sights, so you might see him about town.

Hersch said: “I always spend a bit of time doing some research. I’ll be talking to the audience so I want to make them laugh about Aylesbury.

“I always want to see the place and walk around town before I do the show and I like to stay the night if I can.”

As for what people can expect on the night, Hersch says the talented group putting on the production will ensure it is an evening to remember.

He said: “It’s going to be complete entertainment.

“There’s a lot of music to conduct. It takes quite a lot of preparation to do it all right. I will improvise a bit, but there has to be a structure, it all has to come together.”

One Night In Vienna, directed and choreographed by Alexandra Worrall, is showing at the Waterside Theatre on January 17, at 7.30pm. Tickets range from £16 to £36. Call 0844 871 7627 to book.