Sam Holcroft is currently Writer-In-Residence at the National Theatre Studio. In 2009-10 Sam was the Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Traverse Theatre and in 2009 she won the Tom Erhardt Award for up and coming writers. Theatre plays include Edgar & Annabel, part of Double Feature 1 for the National Theatre, Dancing Bears, part of the Charged season for Clean Break at Soho Theatre and Latitude Festival; While You Lie at the Traverse Theatre; Pink, part of the Women, Power and Politics Season at the Tricycle Theatre; Vanya, adapted from Chekhov, at The Gate; Cockroach, co-produced by the National Theatre of Scotland and the Traverse Theatre (nominated for Best New Play 2008, by the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland and shortlisted for the John Whiting Award, 2009).
She is currently under commission from the National Theatre, the National Theatre of Scotland, the Traverse Theatre and Paines Plough, and she is writing libretto for the Festival d’Aix en Provence.
RULES FOR LIVING
Everyone creates their own coping strategies or rules for living. But what happens when an extended family gathers in the kitchen for a traditional Christmas and they each follow those rules, rigidly?
Premiered at The National Theatre, London (2015). Finalist for the 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
“(4 out of 5 stars) sharp-witted, formally inventive” - The Guardian
"Imagine Alan Ayckbourn clawing his fingernails down a blackboard; that’s Sam Holcroft’s RULES FOR LIVING... her self-aware postmodernism cleverly skewers our obsessive-compulsive culture of self-improvement and self-censorship…a seriously canny satire.” - Variety
“(Four out of five stars) a brilliant black comedy about families, furtive truths and the games that people play…ingenious and insightful play.” - The Times
“(Four out of five stars) a playful, painful and sometimes deliriously funny play…who hasn’t secretly longed to pour a jug of gravy over a fellow dinner guest?” - Financial Times
A seemingly normal detention in a seemingly normal modern day comprehensive. The valiant teacher battles on with biology revision. She believes only education will set her pupils free. For outside the world is in the middle of a long and bloody war. Despite all her best efforts, all too soon the tide of conflict is lapping at the school gates and one by one pupils and teacher are pulled under, as their hopes and dreams float away from them. But as she has taught them in her biology lesson, like the cockroach, the fittest will survive. She is no longer sure however if tenderness and humanity stand a chance?
The violence and twisted loyalty of teenage gangs is laid bare.
EDGAR & ANNABEL
A young married couple prepare dinner in a smartly furnished kitchen. Annabel is composed, intelligent, in love. Edgar is professional, successful, assured. She’s chopping vegetables, he’s brought the wine. But something isn’t right. In a city not so different from our own capital, a group of freedom fighters attempt to stand up to an Orwellian establishment in increasingly perilous circumstances. Sam Holcroft’s ingenious new play paints a picture of a police state in crisis. The story that unfolds brings into question relationships, identities and the very nature of reality itself. . .
US premiere at The Studio Theatre, DC (2013).
“a cool, smart show…[Holcroft] is a writer to watch” – The Washington Post
“Clever, funny and disturbing…a blend of conceptual prank and dystopian satire.” – London Evening Standard
“Holcroft’s suspenseful sense of dramatic rhythm and sheer versatility put her at the head of the new writing brat pack.” – Time Out London
Two careers hang in the balance. Self-made millionaire Kim Keen is one of the most successful businesswomen in the country. as she prepares to launch her latest range on national television an unexpected visitor arrives in her dressing room with a different set of priorities to promote.