GETTING TO KNOW: RACHEL BERGER

Rachel is one of Australia’s favourite stand-up comedians guaranteed to deliver rapid-fire lines with assertive and acerbic virtuosity. She’s a highly regarded and adaptive comedic performer working variously as a comedian, broadcaster, novelist, columnist, agitator and television entertainer. Rachel has taken four solo shows to the Edinburgh Festival and her dynamic presence and engagingly sharp observations have made her an extremely popular performer both live and on television, across Australia and internationally. Rachel’s high public profile has done much to establish the position of women in comedy providing a distinctive voice for women’s opinions and viewpoints.  Following her acting debut in her successful one woman show Hold The Pickle, Rachel leaves the Stand Up microphone behind again to open another door to A Dolls House, Part  2.

The Street got the chance to put one question to Rachel during her busy rehearsal schedule for her starring role as Nora in A Doll’s House, Part 2.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH WORDS

I love words. My relationship with words began at the age of five when my family arrived here from Israel. English was the third language I learned after Hebrew and Polish. Words were the conduits to reading, writing, learning and forming relationships, they still are. And of course being a stand-up comedian words are the ‘score’ of what I do; they are the inspired creation of every routine. Most of the time when I’m writing I need to consciously look for the words until I find the right one but it’s indescribably blissful when the word finds me. I’ve often written something based solely on one word like Knackwurst; it just sounds funny doesn’t it?

All writing requires focus and discipline and is the product of inspiration. I’m not talking about a media that manufactures stories to accommodate their boards and advertisers but valid literary creation – a poem, a novel or in this instance a play that can’t be adequately expressed in any other form.

Through my character Nora and her ‘words’ I’m in a unique position to offer a broad, rich and better understanding (or not) of the complexities of relationships in a marriage, between parents and children and in the bigger picture between the personal and the political. It’s a thrill and a privilege to bring Lucas Hnath’s words to life.

A Doll’s House, Part 2 opens at The Street Theatre on the 15th of June and plays through the 23rd of June.

http://www.thestreet.org.au/shows/dolls-house-part-2-lucas-hnath

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