Monthly Play Readings

The club holds monthly play readings on the first Wednesday of each month. This acts both as a way of introducing new plays to the members, of providing a club activity for members not currently actively involved in a production, and also as a social event for club members. The evenings are held at members houses, and the only requirement to take part is to turn up with enthusiasm (and a small contribution to the refreshments).





Wednesday 4 December 2019

Janet will lead us in reading


by Alan Ayckbourn


We will meet chez Janet & Tim

Rue des Atrebates 27, 1040 Brussels

Metro & Tram Stops :  Montgomery, Thieffry, Boileau & G J Martin

Please be there by 7.45pm for an 8pm start


Life and Beth is a 2008 play by Alan Ayckbourn. It was written as a third part of a trilogy named Things That Go Bump, uniting the cast of the first two plays: Haunting Julia (1994) and Snake in the Grass (2002). It is about a recently bereaved widow, Beth, troubled by her family’s misguided support and a late husband who won’t leave her alone.  Ayckbourn considered it his equivalent to Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit.


This the first play to be written since Alan Ayckbourn’s stroke in 2006. After the stroke, he doubted if he could return to writing, at some points considering giving it up and just directing. 


It is Christmas, and the play begins with recently bereaved Beth and her sister-in-law, Connie, sitting watching carols on television. Connie, in a one-sided conversation, praises her late brother, Gordon. Although Beth quietly agrees with Connie’s idea of her idyllic marriage to Gordon, she expresses subtle annoyance with Connie’s idea that the whole family will have to look after her this first Christmas alone, and Connie’s hints of self-pity don’t help either. Beth is more concerned about the disappearance of her cat, Wagstaff, who disappeared on the day of the funeral.


  • Beth, a recently bereaved widow, very much subservient to her husband during their marriage but now living her own life
  • Gordon, Beth’s late overbearing and pedantic husband, formerly a Health & Safety officer
  • Connie, Gordon’s alcoholic sister, marginalised by her family in favour of her brother
  • David, the local vicar, with a badly-concealed longing for Beth
  • Martin, Gordon and Beth’s son, well-meaning but inheriting all of the wrong attributes of Gordon
  • Ella, Martin’s new girlfriend, overpowered by Martin’s misplaced affection


If you would like to join us please sign up to the Doodle here:






As is traditional at our Christmas meeting I will provide some mulled wine.  If anyone is able to bring along some mince pies I’d love to hear from you (we always get FAR too many, so it would be good to know who plans to bring them!  Thank you so much in advance!!)




In January we will meet on the SECOND Wednesday – the 8th


New members are always welcome to join our group, and there is no requirement to be with us every month.

We usually meet on the first Wednesday of every month. This is a purely social event and you are welcome to bring along something small to eat or drink to share with others – not a meal, just nibbles!

Ideas for plays to read and offers to host are also very welcome.

Every month, Janet emails a reminder to people who have attended in the past and wish to be on the mailing list for these reminders. If you would like to be added to the ECC Play Reading Email List, please email Janet at

How to Doodle: All you have to do is click on the link above, add your name to the list under ‘Table View’, click in the box to show you are coming (or do nothing if you’re not!) and then ‘Save’ your entry. If you have any problem with this, please do not hesitate to contact Janet.