Rachel Berger - Australian Comedian 

"She is one of the sharpest comedians of either gender or hemisphere." - The List, Scotland

Hold the Pickle

The Fairfax Studio, Victorian Arts Centre September 2011

"It's difficult to review a play like this, because there’s nothing to pick holes in. This is a poignant, hilarious, entertaining, beautifully characterised show, and I would highly recommend getting a ticket for one of the remaining performances. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest selling a kidney to do so, but a bit of liver? For sure." Read More

"Hold The Pickle, a one woman autobiographical journey through Rachel Berger's fascinating upbringing, can be summed up simply in one word...Real. Everything about Berger's performance is real, and it should be, with Berger traversing between the three central characters in her life, her Mother, Father and herself. And while the reality of the dialogue cannot be questioned it is the nuance that Berger elicits in her performance that mould this piece and transport it (without trying to sound pretentious) into the spectrum of creative art. At its simplest we are being told a story, as if we are children being recounted a tale before bedtime. At its most complex Hold The Pickle is a raw account of the life of an immigrant family fleeing war torn Poland to Melbourne via the corners of the globe in a desperate struggle for survival and the chance of a safer life. There is a perfect mix of subtle humour and poignancy in the opening stages of the 90 minute journey, by the conclusion however, there is nothing subtle about the humour, the loudness in which you are laughing tells you that Rachel Berger is just a very funny woman with a lifetime of stories; Some of these told, some not, but you get the feeling that every untold tale is brimming inside of Berger, informing every word spoken and every move made." BROADWAY WORLD.com


"From beginning to end, she has us eating out of the palm of her hand, and considering that food is a major theme in her story, that’s an especially good thing. Even though tinged with sadness, her anecdotes have a humourous edge – her amputee father’s return to function through some clever planning by her mother, the depictions of her Anglo neighbors in Spotswood – all fairy bread wrapped in colourful wax paper and Chardonnay-swilling housewives, and winning over her bullies with stolen lollies. It’s in the final section, when the Berger family settles in St Kilda that the Jewish personalities especially emerge – the gossipy grandmas, the old men hanging out in Acland Street eating sandwiches and the tireless shopkeepers and workers of the neighborhood. It’s a familiar evocation and Berger handles it with aplomb. You don’t have to know your schnitzel from your borscht to get swept up in this family saga. It has similarities to many immigration experiences and has a very human, very inclusive feel. What works so well about Hold the Pickle is Berger’s ability to warmly bring her audience into her narrative, beautifully inhabit the crazy characters of her childhood and tie all the elements of her stories together into a satisfying theatrical experience. There’s no smoke and mirrors here – just good ole fashioned story telling that communicates to Jews and non-Jews alike. Take lots of tissues – catch it while you still can" AUSTRALIAN STAGE ONLINE