A semi-sequel to the hit FAUSTUS at St Nicholas Priory.

In late 2014 and early 2015, Four of Swords explored new territory with a kind of spin-off/quasi-sequel to their hit Hallowe’en adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s DOCTOR FAUSTUS, entitled DOCTOR FAUSTUS PRESENTS AN EVENING OF RENAISSANCE MAGIC. 

The show was performed at  THE DEVON & EXETER INSTITUTION, and the premise was simple: centuries after the events of Marlowe’s seminal work, Doctor Faustus has impressed Lucifer and been permitted an evening of reprieve from hellish torment in order to impress a new generation of scholars with his magical powers.

The show incorporated speeches from Marlowe’s version with ideas and elements from Marlowe’s source, THE FAUST BOOK, its sequel THE WAGNER BOOK, and various other alchemical and occult tomes. It employed science experiments, spooky stagecraft and interactive magic tricks. Oh yes, and a rap about the nine spheres of the universe.

There are no current plans to revise this production, but…


Few would contemplate – let alone attempt – a Doctor Faustus spin-off in the form of a cabaret-style magic show, yet Four of Swords pulled it off with trademark wit and inventiveness. Being in the audience for one of their shows is less like going to see a play and more like taking a surreal break from reality!
Gordon Richardson, Express & Echo

I felt completely immersed in the shadowy world of Faustus and Wagner and it was a bit of shock entering back into the real world at the end!  I find you all such mesmerizing performers and I really am not easily pleased.
Audience feedback

Another innovative production from the small crew of actors & actresses. We were sucked in and absorbed by the atmosphere and quality of the production once again.
Audience feedback

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TO REFUGE is an immersive theatre experience taking place at The Mermaid on Gandy Street, Exeter. It is based on In the Bowels of the Earth by Ukrainian author Elena Hapieieva, describing her experiences in a makeshift bomb shelter as Russia invades Ukraine. It is a tender, angry, sorrowful portrait of a community suddenly placed under extreme and inexplicable duress.

Beyond Hapieieva’s raw, crucially current text, we cast our gaze backwards and forwards through time. We are performing this play in a basement on Gandy Street which was itself used as a bomb shelter during WW2. Extracts are woven in from other contemporary Ukrainian works and from the Exeter Blitz Project, a piece of verbatim theatre commissioned ten years ago and collecting the memories of those who survived the mass bombing of Exeter during WW2. We want to support, sympathise and express absolute solidarity with our friends in Ukraine, as well as to challenge our audiences to consider what happens next if unbridled aggression is left unopposed.

TO REFUGE is part of the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings Project. It is being produced by Four of Swords and Maketank in collaboration with Exeter Phoenix and Arts and Culture Exeter University. Tickets cost £15 and all sales will be going to the Devon Ukrainian Association.


For more information on the work of the Devon Ukrainian Association, please go to

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