OTHER PROJECTS

FOUR OF SWORDS co-founders Phil and Sarah are always working to develop our education programme. Phil’s background is actually in education (he worked as a teacher of English and Drama at Secondary School level for six years), and Sarah is an experienced workshop facilitator. Plus, she has an almost magical empathy with petulant teenagers…

As well as visiting pupils in schools and arranging special performances for students to attend, FOUR OF SWORDS has organised and delivered various workshops to accompany two of its most recent productions: FAUSTUS and JASON & THE ARGONAUTS. Furthermore, complementing our work with CAMBRIDGE UNI PRESS and the SUMMER FILM SCHOOL, we have engaged on a film-making project with students from the Central Devon Personalised Learning Service who have been permanently excluded from mainstream education.

  • The FAUSTUS-flavoured workshop was created and run as part of the “Re-Writing Futures” strand of Exeter’s EXETREME IMAGINATION festival. The workshop took place at ST NICHOLAS PRIORY and explored useful stage and storytelling techniques for the telling of blood-soaked, spooky tales!

“What we liked best: the blood. What we didn’t like: that it had to end!”
Participant feedback

Footage of the workshop was included on the EXETREME IMAGINATION documentary which can be seen here:

  • 11120571_986584148042828_832197009872467584_oOur JASON & THE ARGONAUTS-related workshops were held at Exmouth Library with the kind support and assistance of the staff there. They were organised as part of Exmouth Festival.

Our keen workshoppers had a taste of taiko drumming, problem-solving and treasure-hunting, learned a variety of puppetry and storytelling techniques, and then put their new skills to the test in the creation of their own mini-myth-skits!

A great time was had by all.

  • As part of the “Re-Writing Futures” strand of the EXETREME IMAGINATION festival, FOUR OF SWORDS collaborated with students from the Central Devon Personalised Learning Service for young people who have been excluded from mainstream education. The outcome of the project was two short films which were then projected as part of our production of Marlowe’s DOCTOR FAUSTUS.

Sarah and Phil managed to encourage and motivate extremely challenging pupils.  I have been so impressed with their materials, session content and presentation.  Pupils expressed how ‘inspired’ they have been and all said it has been the highlight of their time at the Centre. This has certainly been the best project that I have worked with in school and I have been working as a teacher since 1983.
Teacher feedback, CDPLS

The students were thrilled to see themselves incorporated into our performance, and to witness their work valued in this way. Equally for us it was an extremely rewarding project to be a part of. You can see the resultant films here:

 LEARN ABOUT OUR OTHER ADVENTURES IN EDUCATION:

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CURRENT SHOWS

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.

BOOK TICKETS HERE

For more information on the work of the Devon Ukrainian Association, please go to www.devonforukraine.com.

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