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 is on Monday 6 November, when we will read An Ordinary Day by Dario Fo.

An Ordinary Day (Una giornata qualunque) is centred around a successful publicist, Giulia, who has decided to commit suicide following the failure of her marriage. However, instead of leaving the usual letter to her husband, she decides to bid him farewell with a videotape. But not everything goes according to plan: her phone number has been published in a psychoanalytical journal, and this forces her to radically change her plans.

Dario Fo (1926 –2016) was an Italian actor, playwright, comedian, singer, theatre director, stage designer, songwriter, painter, political campaigner, and recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is one of the most widely performed contemporary playwrights. Much of his dramatic work depends on improvisation and is influenced by giullari (medieval strolling players) and the commedia dell'arte. 



Other Play Reading dates for your calendar:
  • 4 December 2017

 ... and in 2018:

  • 8 January
  • 5 February
  • 5 March
  • 9 April
  • 7 May
  • 4 June
  • 2 July
  • 3 September
  • 1 October
  • 5 November
  • 3 December

To receive an invitation to our Play Readings one week beforehand, subscribe to our mailing list.

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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.

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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