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
May 26th 2020 - AT HOME!

In order to join in you will need to register via the announcement sent out to all contacts on the 17th May or via the "calendar of events" list on the website

We will read the short play

“Dumb Show” by Joe Penhall.

We are pleased to inform you that our trial of a virtual play reading was a great success (albeit with a couple of technical hiccups that we have now resolved)! We have therefore decided to go ahead and organise another at home play reading via Zoom.  

It is being held on Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 19:15, with the first 15 minutes to address any technical requirements. The play reading will start at 19:30.

We shall read the short play "Dumb Show" by Joe Penhall.  Joe is a noted writer for both stage and screen and has won numerous awards for his plays and musicals. In this rather black comedy he features a famous comedian and entertainer, being lured into revealing his dirty washing to two seamy journalists pretending to be financial advisors. The play then continues with greedy sordid manipulations from all three of them.

Please register for the event by Friday 22 May.  We will then send a Zoom meeting invitation to all those who have registered, together with a pdf of the play for you to become familiar with in advance if you wish.  

Future dates 2020
  • 1 June (provisional)
  • 6 July
  • 7 September
  • 5 October
  • 2 November
  • 7 December


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

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    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!


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