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.

Please note:

Due to the current Covid-19 situation we will continue with our, very successful, virtual monthly play readings and do not expect to return to live readings at Centrepoint during the first quarter of 2021. We will monitor the situation and, of course, let you know if circumstances change.

The next play reading will be on
23rd February 2021
at 19:15 

- AT HOME via Zoom!

"Couples" by Rich Orloff

Rich Orloff describes himself as one of the most popular unknown playwrights in the USA. He is a productive writer of often hilarious one-act and short plays among others, which have been staged in six of the seven continents, plus a staged reading in Antarctica.

"Couples" is a series of short plays (around 10 minutes) focusing on couples and their couplings. We will read eight of the nine plays. Some are very funny, some more touching, with a number (8 x 2!) of different characters appearing.

You can join us for this play reading by replying to me (Alison) at

As we have been doing recently:

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

As usual one of us 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 at our next reading and, in the meantime, stay well and stay safe.


Alison Bolton

Secretary, The Semi-Circle

Future dates 2021
  • February 23
  • March tbd
  • April tbd
  • May tbd
  • June tbd
  • July tbd
  • September tbd
  • October tbd
  • November tbd
  • December tbd


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

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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 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 amphitheater 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 plays that we have read from 2010 to 2021.


    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.



    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!



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