Meet the Gay Beggars

The Gay Beggars, one of Basel's best-known English theater groups.

The Gay Beggars, one of Basel’s best-known English theater groups. Photo courtesy of the Gay Beggars.

Any English theater-goer in Basel is familiar with the Gay Beggars. We featured them in our round-up of theater options a few months ago and now in the run-up to the next Beggars production are happy to introduce the group in full.

The Gay Beggars were founded by the students of the English Seminar at the University of Basel way back in the 1940s. Since then they have been staging at least one play a year and call home the Cellar Theatre in the Schönes Haus at Nadelberg 6. The name of the group comes from John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera.

Poster for "Take Five", upcoming production by the Gay Beggars.

Poster for Take Five, upcoming production by the Gay Beggars.

Interested in performing with the Gay Beggars? The group introduces themselves in their own words below:

“The membership roster is in constant flux and consists of both veterans and complete newcomers, the only requirement for participation being a firm grasp of the English language and an interest in the performing arts.

“The Gay Beggars thus serve as a perfect starting point for people who want to dip their toes into the great pond of stage acting, as well as a place for people with stage experience to further hone their skills. If you are interested in knowing more, just drop them a line on or follow them on Facebook.”

The Gay Beggars’ next production is coming up in October: Take Five – 5 Short Plays by David Ives. Performance dates are 2/3/6/8/9/17/18/21/23/24 October and tickets can be reserved on the Gay Beggars website. The plays are all one act and humorous and the perfect introduction to the work of one of Basel’s historic theater groups.

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