Rules for Living

2 Nov — 19 Dec 2020

Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House




By Sam Holcroft
Directed by Susanna Dowling     

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 Keegan Joyce (ABC TV's Please Like Me and Rake), Amber McMahon (Banging Denmark), Logie Award-winner Hazem Shammas, Bruce Spence (The Harp in the South), Sonia Todd (ABC TV's Rake and Channel 9's McLeod's Daughters), Nikita Waldron (Lord of the Flies), and Ella Jacob.

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

“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

Approx. duration 2hrs 10mins including interval. Subject to change. More info.
Content Sexual references, strong language. Subject to change. More info.
Wear a mask It is highly recommended that you wear a mask inside the Drama Theatre auditorium during the performance. More info


Your safety is important to us. We have enhanced health and hygiene methods in place, following NSW government COVIDSafe guidelines and expert public health advice. Please note: it is highly recommended that you wear a mask inside the Drama Theatre auditorium during the performance.

This production is socially distanced. Audience size is at 50% of capacity, in line with current government regulations. It is seated in a chequerboard-style layout.

Please read Sydney Opera House Visitor Safety Information before you visit.


Single ticket prices
Mon – Thu performances
Adult A Reserve $103
Seniors cardholder $93
Concession $82
Under 30 $50

Fri & Sat performances
A Reserve $110

Preview performances
All tickets $50

Season Ticket prices
Adult A Reserve $82
Seniors cardholder $74
Concession $65
Under 30 $45

Saturday evening performances $88

Preview performances $45

Transaction fees may apply
Season Ticket bookings (packs of 6 or more plays): no fees
Single ticket bookings: $8 online; $8 telephone; $0 Box Office counter

Authorised ticket sellers
The only authorised ticket sellers for this event are Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Opera House. Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered valid and reliable. More info.