The family Christmas dinner. Now, most adults know the risks involved with such a major event on the annual calendar. Some people go to considerable lengths to escape it all and avoid the unnecessary squabbles with mum and dad, rows on controversial subjects and kids crying over presents they didn’t receive and wished they had.
For Sam Holcroft’s play, Rules For Living – which premiered at the National Theatre, Dorfman in 2015 – the worse case for a family Christmas dinner is performed on stage. Directed by Simon Godwin, it’s Rules For Living’s first revival at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, a collaboration with English Touring Theatre and Royal & Derngate, and it is as funny and shocking as you might suspect. The shock factor is a warm welcoming and healthy one – full of slapstick, unexpected mince pies flying across the room and cringe-worthy party crackers.