Monday Evening Readings
February 26, 2024
The Seagull by Anya Reiss, based on the play by Anton Chekhov
A successful actress visits her brother's isolated estate far from the city, throwing the frustrated residents' unfulfilled ambitions into sharp relief. As her son attempts to impress with a self-penned play, putting much more than his pride at stake, others dream of fame, love and the ability to change their past. Chekhov's darkly comic masterpiece is ignited for the twenty-first century by one of the most exciting new voices in British Theatre, Anya Reiss. First performed in November 2012, at the Southwark Playhouse (London, UK).
March 3, 2025
Life for Life (12 Pints) by Jack R. Williams
Oli, Chris, Jamie and Tommy, four silly and ignorant drinking buddies, are used to fooling around, joking and teasing each other. The pub is their home and comfort. This all comes to an end once Tommy is diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and is about to die. In their desperation, they trust the shady Doctor Brinkley who seems to be their last hope. They are faced with the question how much their friend’s life is worth and whether it is more important than another person’s life.
March 10, 2025
Bus Stop by William Inge – (Table Read: readers can choose to read on the spot)
This play follows the journey of a diverse group of strangers stranded in a roadside diner during a snowstorm in the year 1955, exploring themes of love, loneliness and human connection in a captivating and heartfelt narrative. Join us for an electrifying twist on our Monday night reading programme as we dive into William Inge's Bus Stop! Say goodbye to the traditional script-in-hand performance and hello to a dynamic table-read experience. Under the guidance of ZEST's own captivating Heather Hsieh and enigmatic Denzil Derraj, the stage is open to all, where each scene's cast will be chosen on a spontaneous, volunteer (or voluntold) basis. Whether you're itching to test your acting chops or simply eager to immerse yourself in the excitement of a live reading, seize this opportunity to be part of the magic. Don't miss out on the chance to join the adventure and make Monday nights unforgettable! If you are not interested in reading and prefer to sit back and enjoy the show as part of our audience, then you're more than welcome to soak up the atmosphere and be swept away by the unfolding drama. Please come along and watch, rate, and discuss the play afterwards.
March 17, 2025
Birthday Candles by Noah Haidle
Come see the cast of the upcoming June production, Communicating Doors, showcase their chemistry for the first time and show off their versatility as, much like in the production piece, their ages change and their characters evolve as time passes. In this very poignant play, Ernestine spends her 17th birthday agonising over her insignificance in the universe. Soon enough, it’s her 18th birthday. Even sooner, her 41st, her 70th, her 101st. We travel from Ernestine’s 17th birthday to her 107th. Five generations, an infinity of dreams, and one cake baked over a century. This play depicts the preciousness and passing of life. It touches on births, deaths, love, despair, divorce and whole constellations of human feelings and thoughts.
The Zurich English-Speaking Theatre meets almost every Monday evening for a play reading. Potential new members are always welcome - take a look at the reading details on this page for the next reading date. All meetings take place at St. Andrew's Community Centre, near Stadelhofen in central Zurich (see the map below). Doors open around 19:00 for an informal get-together and the reading starts at 19:30 unless otherwise stated. You don't need to sign up or inform us that you are coming, but if you have any questions, please contact us via the General Enquiries page.
Play readings are organised and read by members without rehearsal with scripts in hand and a basic set. Newcomers will not be initially asked to read, but if you'd like to get involved, talk to anyone on the committee and we will be glad to put you down on the reading list.
Monday readings are open to anyone and count towards your membership session count. For more information on membership, see the membership page.
Following changes to the BAG restrictions, certificates will no longer be required to attend in-person events. Some venues still require us to wear masks despite the changes, which we must abide by. Please do not attend an event if you have COVID-like symptoms. Food and drink may be consumed again and wine will be provided again on Mondays in the coming weeks.