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
June 24th 2020 - AT HOME!

If you wish to join us for this play reading please reply by Monday 22nd June to me (Alison) at

We shall read 
“Cooking With Elvis“
by Lee Hall.

Our next Semi-Circle virtual play reading at home via Zoom will be held on Wednesday 24th June 2020 at 19:15, with the first 15 minutes to address any technical requirements. The play reading will start at 19:30.

Lee Hall is a playwright with many talents, writing Billy Elliot both for stage and screen, a translator of classical works by Goldoni and Brecht, as well as writing this dark comedy.

After a famous Elvis impersonator is brain-damaged and handicapped in a car crash, his wife becomes sexually dissolute, taking up with, among others, the handsome young Stuart – handsome but not bright. Her daughter disapproves of her mother’s behaviour and focuses on her cooking. But ultimately the daughter becomes sexually involved with Stuart, triggering the final conflict.

I will send a Zoom meeting invitation to all those who wish to join the reading. I will project a rolling copy of the script on to the screen at the reading.

As usual Tony O'Sullivan will introduce the play and will direct proceedings. 

Please note that there is no need for you to have Zoom set up on your device as logging in to the meeting will automatically trigger a Zoom download. If possible, you should use your laptop/PC and microphone and loudspeaker. A tablet should also work if you prefer and you can try a mobile phone although this is not ideal. For those of you new to this technology as well as the script, you should expect to be able to see and hear all participants.

As always you do not have to read but can still join in to say hello and listen.

We look forward to "seeing" you on the 24th and, in the meantime, stay well and stay safe.


Alison Bolton

Secretary, Semi-Circle

Future dates 2020
  • July Virtual reading (Date tbd)
  • 7 September
  • 5 October
  • 2 November
  • 7 December


    To receive an advance invitation to our Play Readings, please subscribe to our mailing list.

    Subscribe to the mailing list


    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 Semi Circle member Richard Levitt who sadly died in 2017.


    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 plays, 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 as you can see from the photos below.

    Here is a list of the recent plays that we have read from 2010 to 2020.


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

    Below is a picture from our latest reading in December 2019 - still going strong!


    © The Semi-Circle Basel 

    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software