ABOUT US


FOUR OF SWORDS was founded in 2012, born of two friends’ determination to create immersive, dynamic, sense-shattering theatre shows… But not theatre shows that actually take place in theatres…

Philip Kingslan John and Sarah White aspired to use theatrical story-telling techniques in unusual and evocative places, to integrate actors’ performances with film projection and live music, to put audience members in the thick of the action and create intimate productions with popular appeal and educational value.

After several months of careful planning, in 2013 FOUR OF SWORDS exploded onto the South West theatre scene with two stonking shows. We’ve come a long way in the last five years, and succeeded in developing a formula which seems to resonate with people and keep them coming back for more.

Our most recent show was a re-interpretation of Euripides’ Greek classic MEDEA, complete with cool mask work, a creepy sung chorus, and a glittering finale with the sun god himself! Behold the trailer for that show:

In five years we have created seven brand new shows (eight if you count our experimental FAUSTUS spin-off), six of which were very gratefully supported by Arts Council England. We have performed in ten incredibly atmospheric venues, as well as numerous schools, and to over 10,000 audience members. 45% of our audience members do not count themselves as regular theatre-goers.

We have also established ourselves as innovators in the field of theatre in education, having built a diverse portfolio of collaborations with partners such as Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Devon Libraries, English Heritage, Exeter Phoenix Arts & Media Centre and Plymouth, Cambridge and Exeter Universities. We have also been working closely with a Chinese Summer School, and plans are afoot to take our SUMMER FILM SCHOOL brand out to Shanghai.

Here’s a video of some lovely audience members saying nice things about us! And underneath you can watch a film which gives a good overview of what we get up to on SUMMER FILM SCHOOL.

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OUR COMPLETE HISTORY OF SHOWS [click the title for more info on each]:

Jekyll and Hyde title script on black

TITLE LOOOOONG

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FAUSTUS title small

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Jason & The Argonauts title

FRANKENSTEIN title small

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Recent Posts

CURRENT SHOWS

DOCTOR DRACULA is an immersive, multi-media theatre experience, which examines the symbolic role of blood in mythology, religion and literature, and how it intersects with a cutting-edge, medical understanding of blood in the 21st century.

The production presents a darkly magical vampiric world, bridging diverse time periods, and informed by the academic research of Prof. Nick Groom and Dr Luke Pilling of Exeter University.

In October and November 2019, the show completed a sold out run at the National Trust’s magnificent KNIGHTSHAYES COURT. In February 2020, DOCTOR DRACULA will run for two weeks at ASHTON COURT MANSION, in Bristol.

ASHTON COURT TICKETS ONSALE SOON!
Dates: TBA Times: TBA Price: TBA
Location: Ashton Court, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN

Praise for DOCTOR DRACULA:

An exceptional piece which fully immerses us in the pain of love, disease and living. Dr Dracula guarantees we won’t forget the importance of blood any time soon.
Katrina Bennett, Razz Magazine

Thank you so much for an absolutely brilliant performance last night — entertaining and informative!
Audience Feedback

Enjoyed this so much, it was awesome! Honestly was blown away by the last scene outside.
Audience Feedback

Another part of DOCTOR DRACULA’s remit is to raise awareness of genetic conditions such as haemochromatosis, which is caused by an overload of iron in the blood, and found in about one in 200 people in the UK. However, only about one case in 5000 is ever diagnosed. A simple prevention and cure for haemochromatosis is to give blood (which can be safely used by the NHS as a usual donation). In addition, the performances promote NHS blood donation and subscription to the Exeter 10,000 research project.

photos by Rhodri Cooper and Matt Austin Images

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