Nominated for the Schweizer Kleinkunstpreis 2018
Comedy in world format
OHNE ROLF are Jonas Anderhub and Christof Wolfisberg, who have been touring with their “select comedy” as a double act for almost two decades. Jonas Anderhub was born in Lucerne in 1976. After training as a primary school teacher he spent two years in Paris at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq and Le Samovar. Appearances as a magician and in improvisational theatre followed. Christof Wolfisberg was also born in 1976 and grew up in Stans. While training as a teacher he worked as an actor and director on various theatre projects. From 1999 to 2003 he studied theatre education at what is now the Zurich University of the Arts. OHNE ROLF’s ability to entertain audiences outside Switzerland as well as at home is reflected in the many accolades they have received, including the Swiss Innovation Award in 2004, the Deutscher Kleinkunstpreis in 2014 and the Deutscher Kabarett-Preis in 2015. In addition to German, French and English, their short programmes have also been translated into Chinese for a tour of China.
The principle underlying OHNE ROLF is apparently simple and has remained unchanged since they started out as street performers: instead of speaking, the men in dark suits display their sentences printed on posters in a standard Swiss size known as “world format”. Their acts are fascinatingly ambiguous: the pre-printed posters suggest something predictable and seem to rule out improvisation – and yet OHNE ROLF endlessly wrong-foot their audience with unexpected twists and unfathomable goings-on between the lines. 2004 saw their first evening programme “Blattrand”, followed by “Schreibhals” (2008), “Unferti” (2012) and “Seitenwechsel” (2016). Their short sentences have long stories to tell; their verbal twists and turns are playfully light-hearted yet profound. OHNE ROLF conduct flip-chart conversations, sing to the audience – from the page, naturally – or print their posters live on stage. As to the true identity of Rolf himself, we will surely never know; after all, the duo’s name translates as WITHOUT ROLF.