Below is our preview, giving background information about the play. Click here to read our Rules for Living review.
Sam Holcroft has been feted by the critics since her debut play, Cockroach, was produced in 2008. She’s just been awarded 2014's prestigious Windham Campbell Prize, which provides rising literary stars with enough money to give up their day jobs and focus on writing full-time, so Rules For Living should mark Holcroft’s breakthrough into the playwriting major league.
Her plays have always turned theatrical conventions and audience expectations inside out – 2011’s Edgar and Annabel unnervingly revealed that its main characters were undercover dissidents reading from a script. Rules For Living develops these ideas even further. As a family gathers for a long-anticipated Christmas dinner, their social norms and coping strategies are exposed as disturbingly rigid traps, with darkly comic results.
A trio of talented women
Working alongside Holcroft on Rules For Living are two other women at the top of their game. Director Marianne Elliott, Associate Director of the National Theatre, has an enviable track record of critical and commercial successes, including the ongoing smash hits War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Holcroft has said that, under Elliott’s direction, the play is set to have “explosive consequences”. The flexibility of the Dorfman’s new seating system, combined with the metatheatricality of Holcroft’s previous plays, make this an intriguing proposition, and we can’t wait to find out exactly what she means. Also onboard is designer Chloe Lamford, currently an Associate Artist at the Royal Court, where her recent set design for Teh Internet Is Serious Business included a giant onstage ball pit.
There's a strongly comic flavour from the cast. Stephen Mangan, whose quick comic quips have shone on stage in Jeeves and Wooster and Noises off and in TV shows including Nathan Barley and Green Wing, will star alongside fellow comedy actor Miles Jupp, fresh from the West End's Neville's Island. Joining them is Maggie Service (Dr Who, Miranda) RSC veterans Deborah Findlay (Coriolanus) and John Rogan (School for Scandal), and recent drama school graduate Daisy Waterstone (The Crucible).
|What||Rules for Living, National Theatre|
South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
13 Mar 15 – 18 Apr 15, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information from the National Theatre|