Everyone creates their own coping strategies or rules for living. But what happens when an extended family gathers in the kitchen for a traditional Christmas and they each follow those rules, rigidly?
As long-held mechanisms for survival are laid bare, even Mum, who’s been preparing this lunch since last January, becomes embroiled. Time-honoured rivalries and resentments will out. Accusations fly, relationships deconstruct, the rules take over.
In Sam Holcroft’s theatrically playful, dark comedy the instructions are there for all to see, audience included – so there’s really no place to hide.
Rules for Living premiered at the National Theatre, London, in March 2015.
‘[Rules for Living] revels in the conventions of traditional domestic comedy, but then ups the ante ingeniously by playfully showing us the rules by which each of the characters live and their destructive patterns of behaviour’
‘Bitingly funny and sharply observed’
— Exeunt Magazine
— The Stage
— The Times