Edith must clean to keep calm. Matthew must sit to tell a lie.
Everyone creates their own rules for living. But what happens when an extended family gathers for a traditional Christmas dinner, and each of them rigidly follows those rules?
Christmas day will never be the same again. As the drinks flow and the obligatory games intensify, family resentments rise and relationships are pulled apart with a bang – like oh so many Christmas crackers.
The regional première of this darkly funny play is produced in collaboration with the producing team, English Touring Theatre, Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Rose Theatre Kingston, who recently won the 2016 UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production for The Herbal Bed.
Sam Holcroft recently adapted Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox for Nuffield Southampton Theatres. She was the Writer-in-Residence at the National Theatre Studio from 2013-14 and was the Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Traverse Theatre in 2009-10. In 2014 she was a recipient of the Windham Campbell Prize for Literature in the Drama category and in 2009 she won the Tom Erhardt Award for up and coming writers. Her other plays include The Wardrobe, Edgar And Annabel, Dancing Bears, While You Lie, Pink, Vanya and Cockroach. She is currently under commission from the Royal Court Theatre.
Jane Booker plays Edith. She previously worked with Simon Godwin on The Beaux Strategem (National Theatre). In addition to seasons with the RSC, her other theatre work includes The Secret Rapture (Bristol Old Vic), The Memory of Water (Hampstead Theatre) and Sense & Sensibility (Watermill Theatre). Her television credits include Inspector Morse, Titmuss Regained, Murder Most Horrid, A Bit of Fry & Laurie, Midsomer Murders, Jonathan Creek, Foyle’s War, The Only Boy for Me, North & South and My Family. Her film work includes Neverland.
Jolyon Coy plays Matthew. His previous theatre work includes The Merchant of Venice, Holy Warriors, Anthony & Cleopatra (Shakespeare’s Globe), Little Eylof (Almeida Theatre), Creditors (Young Vic), Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC), Our Boys (Duchess Theatre) and Posh (Royal Court and West End). For television, his work includes Peaky Blinders, The Windsors, War and Peace and Mr Selfridge; and for film, Beauty and the Beast, Testament of Youth, The Fifth Estate and The Deep blue Sea.
Ed Hughes plays Adam. His previous theatre credits include Dead Dog in a Suitcase (Kneehigh), Luna Gale (Hampstead Theatre), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Vault Festival), This House (National Theatre), Democracy (Sheffield Theatres), Enron (Headlong/Royal Court and West End), Rough Crossings (Headlong), The Canterbury Tales (RSC), Hamlet (Old Vic). His television work includes Ripper Street, Drifters, The Honourable Woman and Wallander.
Carlyss Peer plays Carrie. Her theatre credits include Groundhog Day (Old Vic), Jefferson’s Garden (Watford Palace Theatre), Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Rivals (Theatre Royal Bath and Theatre Royal Haymarket). For television, her work includes Pixies, Grantchester, Brief Encounters, Peter and Wendy, Holby City (series regular Bonnie Wallis), Eternal Law and Silent Witness.
Laura Rogers plays Nicole. Her recent theatre work includes A Lie of the Mind (Defibrillator/Southwark Playhouse), Winter Solstice (Orange Tree Theatre), A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (The Print Room), Private Lives (UK tour), Tipping The Velvet (Lyric Hammersmith), An Ideal Husband, Pressure (Chichester Festival Theatre), Masterpieces (Royal Court), 55 Days and Revelations (Hampstead Theatre). Her television credits includeDates, Dark Matters, Missing and Bad Girls.
Paul Shelley plays Francis. His theatre credits include Brideshead Revisited (English Touring Theatre), All My Sons (National Tour), The Secret Rapture, The Crucible, Hedda Gabler, Lady in The Dark (National Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Winter’s Tale, The Twin Rivals, Dingo, Bingo (RSC), Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare’s Globe), The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle), Earthquakes in London (UK tour), Moonlight (Donmar Warehouse) and Macbeth (Chichester, West End, New York). His television credits include Paradise Postponed, Titmus Regained, A Tale of Two Cities, Morse, Secret Army, Revelations, Dr Who, Blake’s 7. His film includes Oh! What a Lovely War, Polanski’s Macbeth, Macbeth, Caught in the Act, It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet.
Simon Godwin directs. He was previously Associate Director at Royal & Derngate, Northampton where his credits include Regeneration (also tour), The Seagull, Habeas Corpus, Relatively Speaking and The Quartermaine’s Terms (with Salisbury Playhouse). He is an Associate Director at the National Theatre, where he has directed Twelfth Night, Sunset at the Villa Thalia, The Beaux Stratagem, Man and Superman and Strange Interlude. His work for the Royal Court includes Routes, If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, NSFW, The Witness, Goodbye to All That, The Acid Test and Wanderlust. For Bristol Old Vic, he has directed The Little Mermaid, Krapp’s Last Tape, A Kind of Alaska, Faith Healer andFar Away. His other credits include Hamlet and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (RSC), The Cherry Orchard (Roundabout, New York), Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe), Candida (Theatre Royal Bath) and The Winter’s Tale (Headlong with Nuffield Theatre & Schtanhaus/UK tour).
Royal & Derngate, Northampton
8 – 30 September
Box office: 01604 624811
Before touring to:
Cambridge Arts Theatre
3 – 7 October
Box office: 01223 503 333
Theatre Royal Windsor
10 – 14 October
Box office: 01753 853 888
Theatre Royal Brighton
17 – 21 October
Box office: 0844 871 7627
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
31 October – 4 November
Box office: 01473 295900
Rose Theatre Kingston
7 – 18 November
Box office: 020 8174 0090