In May 2019, FOUR OF SWORDS unveiled the latest addition to its dark canon of Ancient Greek adaptations: a re-imagining of Sophocles’ OEDIPUS REX.

OEDIPUS entertained full audiences and received rave reviews. Visitors especially enjoyed the show’s singing, special effects, and characterful cameos.

Four of Swords’ retelling of Oedipus is mind-blowing and takes us out of our cushioned comfort zones. Philip Kingslan John’s treatment of Oedipus is dreamy – cleverly constructed, stuffed with improbability and fantasy, yet totally accessible and completely compelling.
Anna Marks, Remote Goat

What an absolutely wonderful experience. We enjoyed it very much – the acting, the costume, the script, the humour (would you believe it) and the voices, I particularly loved your interpretation of the chorus. 
Doctor of Classics & Ancient History at Exeter University

We were spellbound throughout. Brilliant.
Audience feedback

I know nothing about Greek tragedies, and didn’t know what to expect. The acting, the singing, the script, the staging and setting was all brilliant. I took my wife, also not a huge fan of theatre, she came away mesmerised.
Audience feedback


When we first started approaching the text of OEDIPUS, we wanted to make it very different visually from MEDEA.

We saw an opportunity to do this in the depiction of the gods, and in the intriguing connections between the tale of Oedipus and the world of ancient Egypt.

Oedipus is clearly a Greek story, but it features the Egyptian motif, the Sphinx. Why? Furthermore, both Greece and Egypt had cities which were known in Greek as “Thebes”. The hypothesis has been proposed by Immanuel Velikovsky that this character of Oedipus was initially based on the pharaoh Akhnaton.

This fuelled our imaginations, and we began researching links between the Egyptian and Greek religious systems. Throughout the ancient world there was always an enthusiasm for aligning deities from different traditions; see this photo of “Hermanubis”, fusion of Hermes and Anubis. We were also inspired by Jean Cocteau’s version of Oedipus, La Machine Infernale, where Anubis turns up as companion for the Sphinx. We therefore turned all of the deities in our play into hybrid-forms from Greek and Egyptian myth.

Photographs by Matt Austin and Ian Bateman.

This production was only made possible with the kind support of the Arts Council.

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FOUR OF SWORDS, in collaboration with THE WELLCOME TRUST, EXETER UNIVERSITY and the NATIONAL TRUST, is honoured and proud to announce a brand new show for Autumn and Winter 2019!

DOCTOR DRACULA is another immersive theatre production, drawing on a variety of sources and examining how the symbolic role of blood connects with a cutting edge, medical understanding of blood in the 21st century.

This is a little different from our previous shows. It is not a straight adaptation of the Dracula story. Instead, story vignettes from classic vampire stories will draw the audience back-and-forth through time. Medieval blood-letting and grave-robbing will be contrasted with experiments in parabiosis, blood transfusion, and autovampirism. Misunderstood blood conditions such as haemochromatosis and haemophilia will be highlighted. The show will be playful and irreverent, but also scary, unsettling and deadly serious!

Dates: 23rd October – 2nd November 2019  Times: 6:30pm & 8:30pm  Price: £17.50
Location: Knightshayes, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7RG

Praise for previous FOUR OF SWORDS shows:

A potent reminder of the power of theatre to shock, unsettle and make us question our most basic assumptions about what it is to be human.
Gordon Richardson, Express & Echo

Still trying to shake off the feeling that I saw
something unexplainably real last night,
and tell myself it was only THEATRE.
Teacher Feedback

Audiences will be standing and walking for the duration of the 1 hour 20 min show. Please wear sensible footwear, warm clothing and bring a torch to help you find your way to and from the car! A couple of scenes happen outside, so wear a waterproof coat in case of damp weather.

Please be advised that this show is too creepy for under 11s.


photos by Matt Austin Images


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