Those admirable pranksters Spymonkey virtually write their own review of their new show Oedipussy in what is posted on the warning notices we pass on the way into the Royal Theatre’s auditorium. The list of perils ahead runs: “Nudity, smoke, strobe lighting, bodily mutilation (ankles, eyes), scenes of incest, rape, infanticide, suicide, pestilence and animal sacrifice.”

What we are promised we get — causing no surprise to most, I suppose, since the show is a Bond-style updating (with much added humour and good songs) of Sophocles’ blood-drenched tragedy Oedipus Rex. Only the ‘nudity’ will raise eyebrows — and many laughs. This refers to the appearance of Petra Massey, the sole women in the four-strong group, as the Sphynx. Stark naked from the neck down, with a huge cat’s head above, she is told by her colleagues in hissed asides that her portrayal of the mythical beast — part lion, part human — is “the wrong way round”.

Such interventions are par for the course, this being a show (director Emma Rice) in which Spymonkey appear as ‘themselves’ for almost as long as they portray the various characters in the story. The company’s managing artistic director Toby Park, whose principal role is that of narrator, treats us to a lengthy address towards the end in which he tells us he belongs to a “high-achieving family” and could have done so much more in life himself. Stephan Kreiss, our Oedipus, reveals a scheme to run back to his native Germany, having nicked the company’s shows. Spaniard Aitor Basauri (King Laius, mainly), reveals an ambition for stand-up comedy and demonstrates why he won’t succeed at it. Ms Massey (Jocasta) tells us, in regular monologues, of the many ways in which the Oedipus story connects with her own life, especially where illness is concerned.

Happily, all these digressions are managed without fatal damage to the impetus of the familiar story, which advances ineluctably to its end, here proving every bit as comical as it is tragic. Don’t miss the fun.

Until February 18. Box office 01604 626811 (