• Duration: 2hrs 10 mins approx. + interval
  • Tickets: Standard: £15 | Pay more: £17 | Pay less: £13
  • Company: Ronin Theatre Productions
  • Ages: 12+


Christmas. A time for families to come together. And to fall out. Two brothers come to their parent’s home for Christmas, bringing along their partners. Mum has been getting ready since January, but most of them don’t want to be there – so it doesn’t take much to push them over the edge.

In this brilliant new comedy, a family farce with a twist, each character has their own coping mechanisms – their “rules for living” – and only the audience knows exactly what they are.

So how does the family cope during a family gathering where each of them rigidly follows their own rules? As the stress mounts, each of them falls back further and further on their own patterns of behaviour – Matthew must sit down to lie, Edith must clean to keep calm – and tensions bubble to the surface.

First staged to critical acclaim at the National Theatre, Sam Holcroft’s fabulous, fast-paced, hilarious farce will be familiar to anyone who has ever had an awkward family gathering. After their sell-out production of Collaborators in 2018, Ronin Theatre return to The Old Fire Station with a comedy that will you have you crying with laughter and recognition.

Post show discussion Thursday 31 October

Ronin are hosting a post-show discussion on Thursday 31 October with

Dr Sarah Rakovshik, Head of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre and accredited CBT therapist

Dr Helen Kennerley, consultant clinical psychologist, accredited CBT therapist, founding member of OCTC, author of Overcoming Anxiety

All ticket holders are welcome. The bar will be serving drinks before the post-show discussion begins.

This amateur production presented by arrangement with Nick Hern Books.

A note on ticket prices

We ask our audiences to select the ticket price the pay based note on their age or education, but on what they can afford to spend.

  • Standard: This is the regular ticket price.
  • Pay more: For those who can afford to help us offer cheaper tickets to people who need them.
  • Pay less: For those who can’t afford the standard price.

If you are disabled and would like to book a companion/personal assistant ticket, please contact the box office: 01865 263990 or tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk

Parking & Access


There are a number of Blue Badge parking spaces nearby on Beaumont Street, and more on New Inn Hall Street and St Giles.

The closest car park is Gloucester Green Car Park, accessed via Gloucester Street.

If you have any questions or concerns, the City Council’s Access Officer can be reached at 01865 249811.

Getting here

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, but we need your help. Use ecoway, our sustainable travel planner, to see the most eco-friendly options for your journey to Old Fire Station, and plan a bespoke and flexible route. ecoway is easy to use and you’ll be kept up to date with any disruption or changes to your journey plan.

Car parks in Oxford Blue Badge information Public transport in Oxford


Disabled patrons are eligible for one free companion ticket with their booking. To book this, contact the ticket office: tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk or 01865 263990.

There are two entrances to the Old Fire Station: 40 George Street via the foyer, and on Gloucester Green via the shop. Both are step-free. If you are coming to a show, we ask that you use the George Street entrance, as the Gloucester Green entrance is not always open.

Events in the Theatre

There is level entry to the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the main Theatre (where most shows take place).

If you are a wheelchair user attending a sit-down show, space will be reserved for you. If you are attending a standing gig, please contact us (call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) and we will talk with you about your needs.

Events in the Studio

There is level entry into the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the Studio.

Events in the Loft

There are six steps leading up to the Loft space, with no lift. If you would like to discuss this to find out more, please get in touch.

The Gallery

There is step-free access to the Gallery – level entry through the George Street entrance, and via lift from the Gloucester Green entrance.


Accessible toilet
There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor, accessible via platform lift. Other toilets are in the basement (accessible via lift).

Hearing assistance system
The Theatre is equipped with a hearing assistance system. If you have any questions about using it, please e-mail us at tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk or phone 01865 263980.

Assistance dogs
All types of assistance and guide dogs are welcome at the Old Fire Station. It would be great if you could let us know in advance if you will be bringing a working dog to any performances – just e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk.

Strobe lighting
We will warn visitors on the website and in the foyer of the venue if a performance is going to contain strobe lighting. If lighting affects you, and you have any concerns, please call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk.

Chairs in the theatre
Our chairs are a standard dining-chair size, measuring 40cm deep by 37cm wide, with a metal frame. Some have arms, and some do not. They are all joined together at the sides, to form rows. If this is likely to pose a problem for you, please email tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk and we can discuss how to make your visit more comfortable.