John Astley, author and facilitator of Exmouth community education column, writes for the Journal

For the past eleven years Four of Swords have been wowing audiences across the South West by creating site-sympathetic, immersive theatre experiences.

Appealing to those who crave something a little bit different, they tend lean towards the darker side of literature and create adaptations of classic texts that are accessible and subversive. They have performed in caves, cathedrals, crumbling stately homes, woodlands and abandoned buildings. They also have extensive experience working with children and young people and regularly run creative educational programmes.

After their ­­­­­wildly successful run in Beer Quarry Caves with Greek classics Medea and Oedipus in 2023, Four of Swords will be coming to East Devon this February with two exciting creative educational offers. 

In February half term they’ll be at the Manor Pavilion Theatre Sidmouth to host four days of intensive workshops that examine what immersive theatre can mean.

Their programme will culminate in a performance which will entirely reimagine the Manor Pavilion Theatre: using the building in a surprising way and creating unique experiences in areas normally off limits to an audience. 

This special bootcamp is specifically designed for adults: Those who are in training, early in their career and aspiring professionals, as well as keen amateurs, aged 16+.

All creative practitioners are welcome. This workshop is open not only to actors, but to aspiring designers, directors and sound or lighting engineers too.  After the performance there will be an opportunity to celebrate achievements and meet industry professionals and members of local creative organisations. 

The workshops will be led by Four of Swords Co-founders and Artistic Directors, Sarah White & Phil Kingslan John.

Thanks to the generosity of East Devon District Council there are bursary places available for two East Devon residents aged 16-30. For more information about these free spaces please email

Also beginning in Feburary will  be weekly workshops at The Beehive in Honiton, these workshops are for young people 13-18 yrs who are interested in writing and adapting greek myth for performance. This is part of a series of specialist workshops that will eventually lead to large scale performance in the summer….perhaps on a beach near you!?

For more information about the the company's work and educational offers please visit

Details of workshops: Immersive Theatre Bootcamp 12th -15th Feb from 9.30am - 5pm at the Manor Pavilion Theatre Sidmouth. £65

Immersive Theatre Specialists: Writing & Adapting Greek Myth: Thursdays 22nd Feb - 14th March from 5pm - 6.30pm at The Beehive Honiton. £55