The Zurich Comedy Club presents their production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband from May 2nd and we took the opportunity to ask a few questions of Ray Bär, President of the ZCC.
Can you give us a background of the Zurich Comedy Club? When the Zurich Comedy Club was founded there were very few activities with, for or by English speakers. In 1954 a group of English ex-pats got together and put on a play, ‘just for fun’…. first in the Neumarkt Theatre and then in the old Kaufleuten Theatre.
The activity of play reading and socializing on Monday evenings, combined with play production at least twice a year attracted an enthusiastic membership, which now numbers 135.
What role do you think it plays for Zurich’s English-speaking expat community?
The Club is a very important part of many members’ lives. It is where we go on Mondays to meet friends or, if new to Zurich-to make friends-, chat over a drink, and take part in…or listen to…the play of the evening.
We communicate entirely in English, which is especially reassuring for ex pats who haven’t yet picked up German.
What about aspiring performers? Can they play a role in the Club?
Everyone can play an active role in club life, whatever their interest. Our activities are all in English, and this includes the plays we stage. If you enjoy acting and speak English well enough to take a part in one of our productions, and do well enough in the auditions to convince the casting committee that you are perfect for the part you want….then that’s all that’s needed.
In addition, there are so many teams involved in staging a play that anyone can have a great time without actually appearing on stage.
Something a little personal, what are your thoughts about living in Zurich?
I have lived in Zurich for over 50 years now and the Zurich of today is a wonderful city in which to live. It is a busy place that functions well. Public transport is clean and punctual and reliable and nothing is too far away.
The mountains, countryside, Italy, France Germany and Austria are all within easy reach. The food is lovely , the air is clean…and this is where my friends are.
Off the top of your head, one place in Zurich you consider to be a well-kept secret.
There is a little patch of green grass, just outside Zurich, where I swim in the lake when we get those warm summer days. Not many people know about it, but my friend and I will picnic there and bask in the shade or sun and swim… It’s like being on holiday!
(Editorial Note – Ray is no fool, she doesn’t actually tell us where this place is!)
Finally, who would win in a fight between a one-armed Karate expert and a one-legged kick boxer?
The winner would be the last man standing!!
Many thanks to Ray for her answers.