The Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio has enjoyed one of its most successful years, despite the economic downturn, and continues with the world premiere of Lucinda Coxon’s darkly comic new play, Herding Cats.

Balancing the cocktail of 21st century life and relationships is as impossible as herding cats for Michael, Justine and Saddo. Justine has an infuriating new boss. Michael works from home, talking to strangers. Saddo is one of those strangers… All three are living in a comic fiction in an attempt to avoid the realities of life. Teetering on the edge, all three are hurtling towards the inevitable hell which is Christmas.

Olivia Hallinan plays Justine, and will be familiar to audiences, for her role as Laura Timmins in the BBC’s Lark Rise to Candleford. She also played Kim in the critically acclaimed Sugar Rush and Ellie in Girls in Love. The role of Michael is played by Philip McGinley who played Tom Kerrigan in Coronation Street. The cast is completed by David Michaels as Saddo, whose stage credits include the RSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as many television appearances in shows such as ITV’s Heartbeat and the BBC’s As Time Goes By.

Lucinda Coxon is one of the outstanding playwrights to have emerged in recent years. Her play, Happy Now? at the National Theatre, was described by the Daily Telegraph as “the best new play to have arrived on the British stage for a year”. Coxon’s film The Danish Girl starring Nicole Kidman, and her BBC adaptation of The Crimson Petal and the White are currently in production and she is writing a new play commissioned by the National Theatre.