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[Perspectives] Knowing the rules of the game

Sparkling decorations on the Christmas tree, the voices of relatives arriving: judging from what can be seen in Rules for Living, Sam Holcroft’s hilarious play, this is enough to trigger panic in most people. In fact, like Alan Ayckbourn’s darkly comic Season’s Greetings and Martin Crimp’s provocative In the Republic of Happiness, Rules for Living confirms that a family gathering at Christmas is an ideal setting to explore how being forced to endure reciprocal company at close quarters can bring out the worst in anyone.