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.

Recent Posts


Just as Summer time is flourishing on the earth, FOUR OF SWORDS desires to lead you into the underworld of BEER QUARRY CAVES for their own unique and blood-curdling version of The Scottish!

This subterranean production is a revival of FOUR OF SWORDS’ hit 2014/16/18 show, and presents the Witches as Viking priestesses and goddesses of Destiny who guide the audience through the labyrinthine caverns of Macbeth’s homicidal ambition. The show features Shamanic techniques, haunting live music, gruesome film projections, Icelandic chanting, a splash or two of gore and even some Highland sword-dancing.

The company deserve huge applause – there were strong performances
all round with too many stand-out moments to describe.
Anna Marks, Remotegoat

The connected caves – complete with bats – echo with a constant drip-drip-drip,
perfectly conjuring the chill dankness of a medieval Scottish castle.
Belinda Dillon, Exeunt Magazine

As with previous FOUR OF SWORDS productions, audiences will be standing and walking for the duration of the 1 hour 15 min show. Please wear sensible footwear, warm clothing and bring a torch to help you find your way to and from the car! Please be advised that this show is too creepy for under 11s.

Dates: 26th-29th June 2019  Times: 7pm & 9pm  Price: £15
Location: Beer Quarry Caves, Quarry Lane, Beer, Seaton, Devon EX12 3AT

FOUR OF SWORDS’ version of MACBETH was designed expressly for BEER QUARRY CAVES, first performed in 2014 and repeated in 2016 and 2018. We have have been immensely gratified to receive some amazing feedback from our audiences. Here are some choice snippets!

A fantastic experience. I have finally ‘got’ Shakespeare and now want to see more, having resisted it for years. The production was incredible – so intense and absorbing.

We have just got home after watching your performance of Macbeth at Beer quarry caves. We were totally blown away by it. I love going to the theatre but that was one of the best performances I’ve seen. My husband isn’t a keen theatre person but absolutely loved it.

We are both COMPLETE Shakespeare virgins (managed to avoid the whole subject at school.) Now at the ripe old age of 40+ we thought ‘there must be something to this Shakespeare thing’. You didn’t disappoint. Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the performance. We enjoyed the whole thing, the candles, the acting, the tragedy of it all. I have since ordered myself a copy of Macbeth to read, so there’s testament to my enjoyment.

  1. CURRENT SHOWS 6 Replies