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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?
In Sam Holcroft's theatrically playful, dark comedy the family does just that.
And when the instructions are there for all to see, audience included, there's really no place to hide.
As long-held mechanisms for survival are laid bare, even Mum, who's been preparing this lunch since last January, becomes embroiled.
Long-held rivalries and resentments will out.
Accusations fly, relationships deconstruct, the rules take over.
<i>Rules for Living</i> premiered at the National Theatre, London, in March 2015.