The Semi-Circle
   English Language Theatre in
   Basel since 1975


Play readings

The Semi-Circle Play readings take place once a month.  Members and non-members are welcome to join us at these informal sessions - to read with us, or simply listen.

Location: The Library, Centrepoint Building, Im Lohnhof 8, 4051 Basel (see map).  The doors open at 7pm, and we start the play reading promptly at 7.30pm.

The next play reading will be on
November 4th 2019

We shall read

“We Were Dancing” “Still Life” and “Hands Across the Sea” by Noel Coward.


These are three short plays from a series of ten written by Coward in 1935 as a vehicle for Gertrude Lawrence and himself to star in a number of different roles. They were performed in cycles of three in 1936 in London and later in 1936 and 1937 in New York under the title “Tonight at 8:30” and were a great commercial and critical success. The two lighter comedies are coupled with the drama “Still Life”, which was filmed by David Lean in 1945 as Brief Encounter, with Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role.

Future dates 2019
  • 2 December


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    A little bit of history ...

    The origins of The Semi-Circle date from the 1960s when some British Circle drama enthusiasts took the opportunity to meet together and hold  informal play readings. These British Circle members eventually began to rehearse some play readings, which they then performed for family and friends. In 1976, The Semi-Circle (see picture below) was formed and has continued to explore drama through play readings and fully-staged performances ever since. 

    Down the years the play readings took place in many restaurants and other venues, during ski-weekends, while enjoying a Basel-based barbecue, and occasionally on Sunday afternoons in the small amphitheatre in Bruglingen in the Merian Gardens.

    Through the years the play readings have experienced ups and downs, but enthusiasm for them has never waned.
    Here is a list of the recent plays from 2010 to 2019.

    The Semi-Circle is pleased to announce that we have received a generous gift of a large number of books and play scripts  from the estate of long time S-C member Richard Levitt who sadly died in 2017.

    The photo above is from one of The Semi-Circle's first rehearsed play readings (1976): "Heartbreak House" by George Bernard Shaw


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