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Drama Theatre

Rules for Living

By Sam Holcroft
Directed by Susanna Dowling

Frenetically funny, this is the most deliciously dysfunctional family Christmas lunch you’ll ever attend.

In the Drama Theatre

Keeping you safe

  • The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government
  • We strongly recommend that patrons over the age of 12 wear a face mask while attending a performance inside one of our venues
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 meters whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.
  • Within venues, please adhere to our spaced seating plans and always take your allocated seat
  • There are new COVID-specific conditions of entry for audiences attending performances, including the digital check in of every person for contract tracing purposes. This includes the circumstances under which you must not attend the Opera House, and what’s required of you when you visit. Please read about them here
“An intelligent comedy that leaves us questioning at what point the rules for living we all adopt become a form of entrapment."  

- The Guardian UK

Let the games begin

Meet the family. Edith is a highly-strung matriarch who prepares for lunch like it’s a military offensive. Youngest son Matthew, a frustrated actor and reluctant lawyer, longs for a different career … and for his brother’s wife. But Nicole, peeved and prickling for an argument, longs only for a drink. It’s Christmas – what could possibly go wrong?

Sam Holcroft’s audacious script cranks the familial tension up to 11 using narrative tricks that clue the audience into a joke of which the hapless characters are unaware. Frenetically funny, Rules for Living is about all those expectations and roles that life sets upon us – and the tics and twitches that betray us when we struggle to shake them off.

Susanna Dowling makes her STC directorial debut with a brilliant ensemble cast including Sonia Todd (ABC TV's Rake and Channel 9's McLeod's Daughters), Amber McMahon (Banging Denmark),  Logie Award-winner Hazem Shammas, Keegan Joyce (ABC TV's Please Like Me and Rake), Bruce Spence (Dinner), Nikita Waldron (Mosquitoes), and Ella Jacob.

Timed for the silly season, Rules For Living is the most deliciously dysfunctional Christmas lunch you’ll ever attend.

Presented by Sydney Theatre Company

Presenting Partner: UBS
Production Patron: The Vine Foundation

Rules for Living was first performed at the Dorfman Theatre, National Theatre, London, on 13th March 2015.

Artist Information

Creatives

Director Susanna Dowling
Designer Charles Davis
Lighting Designer Sian James-Holland
AV Designer Laura Turner 
Composer & Sound Designer James Brown
Movement Director Tom Hodgson
Fight Director Nigel Poulton
Voice and Text Coach Danielle Roffe
Assistant Director Carissa Licciardello

With

Ella Jacob
Keegan Joyce
Amber McMahon
Hazem Shammas
Bruce Spence 
Sonia Todd 
Nikita Waldron

Venue Information

In line with current NSW Government advice, all venues will have a reduced venue capacity of 50% (or a maximum of 1000 guests), and our spaced seating plans will have a minimum of one seat or aisle between each separate booking.

Tickets will mostly be sold in multiples of two, however limited allocations of single tickets and odd numbered groupings of tickets will also be available. Tickets may also be sold in single seat patterns for certain Events. At all times, we will do our best to support your needs, but please bear in mind that this will be subject to the restrictions in place at that time.

Please help us maintain our safe, spaced seating plans by wearing your mask at all times inside the venue, remaining in your allocated seat and facing the stage. Please be aware that guests seated in your row may need to walk past you to get to their seat.

Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars, and should be consumed while seated in specific foyer spaces to maintain physical distancing. For select shows, drinks purchased at our theatre bars can also be taken into venues. Please check specific event information closer to the performance date. Please note that unless advised otherwise, theatre bars will not be open during intervals.

An example of COVID safe seating (single seats) with physical distancing

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice).  
  • The Sydney Opera House Wilson car park is open and available to use. Wilson Parking is currently offering a $10 discounted rate if you book ahead, please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

Frequently Asked Questions - Performance and Venue

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