The Semi-Circle
English Language Theatre in Basel since 1975


Spring Production 2018:  TOP GIRLS  by Caryl Churchill





This play observes how different women cope with the constraints of a patriarchal society in mid 1980's Britain, a time of rapid change. 

Marlene is a career-driven business woman and only interested in success.

During an extravagant dinner party she introduces her "friends", amongst them
famous women from history, such as the female Pope Joan. 

But is Marlene as strong as she looks? 


We learn how other women cope in and around the business world and start to wonder: 


What does it actually mean to be a successful woman?


You can view the programme here

Performances 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, June 2018

Theater Rampe, Byfangweg 6, Basel


The Cast


Cathy Barker Marlene


Sabina van Steenderen Waitress/Kit/Shona


Liz Shaw Isabella Bird/Joyce


Eleanor Low LadyNijo/Win


Anouk Dutruit Dull Gret/Angie


Miriam Cohn Pope Joan/Louise


Stephanie Chuah  Patient Griselda/Nell/Jeanine


Alison Bolton  Mrs Kidd


Production Crew 



Director Richard Brown 


Technical director Heather Genini 

Production manager Peter Hilton 

Stage manager Kirsten Gräser 

Stage hands Tanja Spichty, Isabell Buttron, Ana Branco, Susanne Hillier, Gurpreet Singh Gill 

Set design and build Ash Chumber, Peter Nixon, Richard Brown 

Lighting design Jerome Salyers 

Sound design Richard Brown 

Light & sound board Gabi Solomon Props manager Scott Holland 

Costumes Claudia Ott, Natalya Goldbach 

Make-up Valentina D'Alessandro and others 

Rehearsal prompt Susan Aeschbach Tickets Georgina Rotter 

Publicity Beatrix Castellote-Iselin, Georgina Rotter 

Artwork design Ruth Lowe 

Programme Georgina Rotter, Cathy Barker 

Photography © Ralf Pfaff 2018 

Front of house & bar Peter Hilton, Chris Jones, Jan Hawley, Billy Gilbert 

Box office Sue Aeschbach, Wendy Monard, Danielle Zammit, Catherine Matter 

Ushers Edward Atkinson, Valerie Walder, Zuzana Cox 


Special thanks... .... goes to all family members of the committee, and of the cast and crew – without their support and patience this production would not have come to the stage. Thanks also to David Laurie for publicity advice. 


A very special and warm thanks goes to our former President, Sue Newstead, who incorporated the soul of Semi-Circle and carried a multitude of responsibilities in the finest manner in recent years, and to whom we would like to wish the very best for her future. 


About Caryl Churchill 


Caryl Churchill is a playwright known for addressing politically challenging subjects and for her use of non-naturalistic dramatic techniques. She has written 49 plays and received 12 major awards. Born in London in 1938 to a fashion model and a political cartoonist, Churchill emigrated with her family to Montreal in 1948 and later returned to England to attend Oxford University; since then she has lived in London. While raising her own family, she began to write short radio dramas and television plays. Her first stage play to receive wide recognition was Cloud Nine (1979), a farce about Victorian colonial sexual politics. She went on to write Top Girls (1982). Churchill collaborated with composer Orlando Gough to produce operas called Hotel (1997) and A ring, a lamp a thing (2010) at the Royal Opera House, London. 

She continues to write politically controversial pieces such as Drunk Enough To Say I Love You (2006) and Seven Jewish Children (2009). Love and information (2012) gained great critical and popular acclaim. 

Never far from controversy, Caryl Churchill is arguably Britain’s greatest living playwright.

















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