The Semi-Circle
   English Language Theatre in
   Basel since 1975


****  The Semi-Circle triumphs at FEATS 2019 **** 




The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Award for best Stage Presentation

The Huhn-Boeye Award for best Stage Management


The BATS trophy for 3rd place overall

Nomination for Best Actress (Zuzana Cox) 

Nomination for Adjudicator's Discretionary award for Costumes


Semi Circle’s entry at the recent Festival of European Anglophone Theatre Societies (FEATS) was hailed as a great success! Our entry, “Playing with Daisy” by the UK playwright Eleanor Fossey, had been performed in Basel in November last year and was revived for this prestigious international competition, hosted by Entity Theatre Munich, and held this year in the Wolf-Ferrari Theatre Ottobrunn, from May 30-June 2nd. Twelve teams from around Europe competed for the awards.


Prior to going on stage, the team had received words of encouragement, positive vibes and a bouquet of flowers from the playwright, and the team’s performance of her play went on to win three trophies and two nominations - our biggest ever haul at the FEATS competition!  In addition to winning the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg award for best Stage Presentation, the Stage Management award and the BATS trophy for 3rd place overall in the competition (of 12 teams), we also received nominations for Best Actress (Zuzana Cox) and the Adjudicator's Discretionary award for Costumes.


The festival adjudicator, Jan Palmer-Sayers, said that she had seen the play on a number of occasions, but this was the best staging and performance she had seen yet. Given this extremely positive feedback from the competition adjudicator, and the festival audience, we had anticipated a high placing. However, as we learned later, the competition and scoring had been incredibly tight. There were only 2 points difference (out of a total of 100)  between the 1st and 3rd-placed plays and we were delighted to achieve 3rd place overall at the awards ceremony on the last night of the festival. Once awarded 3rd place, we were eligible for four other awards. Of these we won two and we were nominated for the other two - an amazing achievement  which the club should be justly proud of.


Zuzana Cox (as ‘Daisy’) and Liz Shaw (as ‘Esther’) both gave brilliantly memorable and flawless acting performances which received tumultuous applause from the audience, and a high level of critical acclaim from the festival adjudicator. In her words “Both of these experienced actresses made maximum use of the stage and voice projection to signpost the story line and keep the audience engaged throughout the 45’ playing time.” We were eagerly anticipating a best actress award for either or both of our actresses, although sadly on this occasion it was not meant to be.


Focusing most of the play’s action downstage, our stage presentation was without parallel, heralded by the adjudicator as “truly excellent and mesmerizing, with a level of perfection that is rarely seen in festival presentations.  This team really knew what they were doing and what they wanted to create.” Our stage presentation was appreciated and applauded by the audience as soon as the curtain went up and before a single word of text had been spoken by the actors – something that happens only very rarely at FEATS!


The laudation from the Festival Stage Management Team - who awarded us the discretionary award for best stage management was as follows: “We enjoyed working with you. Early on in the process, you presented a concrete vision for the image you wanted on stage, making good use of the technical options available in the light plot, and you were able to communicate that vision clearly. Your lighting plan was the best from all the other teams. That counts for a lot. And that moment, when the curtain opened on the stage with just the cyclorama lit, was indeed magical – receiving a reaction and applause from the audience. It was great communication from your Stage Manager (Scott Holland) and good calling of cues.”


Interested to hear more about our experience at FEATS 2019? 


The team is going to prepare a presentation for the club entitled "Selection and preparation of a play for success at an international theatre festival" which will be shown to club members later in the year on a date to be finalised. Hopefully this should provide an interesting retrospective insight into the "Daisy" project over the last 12 months and how the club can apply the experience, gained from participation at this year’s FEATS festival, to any future festivals it may wish to enter.

In addition to our team of nine members, four non-participating members and a number of friends also travelled to Munich to support the team. The performance by Geneva English Drama Society (GEDS) won 3 awards making it a great evening for English-speaking theatre in Switzerland!

On a final note, the whole "Daisy" team would again like to thank the committee and acknowledge its generous and kind support to enable us to represent the club at FEATS 2019 and achieve our biggest success in this competition so far! Thanks also to IMPLENIA AG for providing the team with ‘Daisy’ T-shirts and sweets.


David Cox                                                                                                             Basel, June 5th 2019


On behalf of the Semi-Circle FEATS 2019 team:


Zuzana Cox                         Actor ‘Daisy’

Elizabeth Shaw             Actor ‘Esther’

David Cox                     Director, Lighting & Sound Design

Scott Holland                Stage Manager

Susan Aeschbach           Prompt, Crew, Background Actor

Michael Clarke                Lighting Operator

Jon Apted                      Sound Operator

Chris Jones                    Crew

Ann Apted                     Crew











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The Semi-Circle at FEATS 2016


FEATS Competition:

 

The Semi-Circle took "Syrinx" by Kate Mosse to FEATS 2016, having first performed it in November 2015 as part of our evening of one-act plays, "True Colours".


The "Syrinx" cast and crew were:

Director: Christine Archer

Cast: Zuzana Cox, Rita Felder, Liz Shaw and Diana Zuger - also Sylvia Bach (musician)

Crew: Susan Aeschbach, Jonathan Apted, Clare Austin, David Cox, Kirsten Gräser, Tibor Gyalog, Berndt Reiss

 

The FEATS adjudicator described the performers as four very strong experienced actresses.  Rita Felder received special mention as an engaging actress.  Zuzana Cox was nominated for Best Actress, her opening monologue being described as ‘very powerful’.  The adjudicator commented on the lovely live flute playing by Sylvia Bach, and on the impressive quality of her musicianship in singing the closing ‘Lacrimosa’.




FEATS Fringe:


The Semi-Circle took "Sure Thing" by David Ives to FEATS Fringe 2016.  This was another play which had previously been performed by The Semi-Circle in November 2015 as part of the production called "True Colours".


The "Sure Thing" cast and crew were:

Director: Stephanie Feddern

Cast: Stephanie Feddern and David Laurie

Crew: Susan Aeschbach


From their laughter, the audience appreciated the strong performance of Stephanie and David as they played out the couple who, meeting for the first time, try to navigate through the maze of wrong things to say and do until they finally succeed in going out on a date.



 

Sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone from The Semi-Circle who participated and represented the Club at FEATS 2016!


The Semi-Circle at FEATS and the BAWF 2014 


FEATS (Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies), Luxembourg, June 2014:


The Semi-Circle performed "The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish" and achieved second place overall, as well as receiving nominations for all actors involved.


British All-Winners' Festival, Douglas, Isle of Man, June 2014


Only amateur theatre groups that have won or have been close runner-up in regional competitions are invited to perform at the All Winners' Festival.  The Semi-Circle was

invited because of the success of "The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish" at FEATS 2014.  The production won two of the five awards for one-act plays, including the award for best individual performance and for technical and backstage work.


The following FEATS report by Suzana Cox has been abstracted from the FEATS wesite:


"Semi-Circle Basel (runners-up FEATS 2014) had great success in the NDFA British All Winners Festival. The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish won two prizes.

The opportunity to perform in a prestigious festival in the unique setting of the Gaiety Theatre on the Isle of Man – which amateur group could ask for more?

The theater – designed by the famous theater architect Frank Matcham and built in 1899, has a seating capacity of almost 900, a raked stage which drops around 30cm from up- to downstage, multiple traps and much dust, cobwebs and ghosts.

The festival consists of five days of amateur theater of the highest standard. Each performing group has won (or been a close runner-up) at an NDFA festival during the year. This year it consisted of two full-length and nine one-act plays.

Semi-Circle was highly profiled throughout the week, and was interviewed by the local television station! Many people in Douglas were curious about the visitors from Switzerland and we received compliments and much positive feedback. The quality of plays at the festival was stunning and the fact that the Semi-Circle won two of the five awards given for one-act plays truly reflects the excellent standard of our club. Our group were able to make use of the theater facilities – traps, lighting, sound and all – to stage a production which was entertaining, slick and professional. A fact recognized by the adjudicator when she presented David with the adjudicator’s award for best performance. The high standard of the technical team was also recognized and we were proud to be awarded the trophy for technical and backstage work. The whole team look forward to sharing their experiences with our Semi-Circle members at an upcoming event, and using these experiences to bring even higher quality entertainment to our audiences and great on- and backstage experiences to our active members.

  • Director: Zuzana Cox
  • Cast: David Cox, Christine Archer, Joy Scherer
  • Crew: Susan Aeschbach, Ann Apted, Jonathan Apted, Clare Austin, Zuzana Cox, Sharon Marshall"
These achievements in Luxembourg and Isle of Man are a testament to the excellent theatrical standards of our club.




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