Lucinda Coxon’s chillingly funny new play Herding Cats opens at Hampstead Theatre tonight (6 December 2011), following an acclaimed run at the Ustinov Theatre, Bath this time last year.

An alternative to much of the capital’s seasonal theatre offerings, the play freeze-frames a generation negotiating intimacy and independence in the 21st century. Here, the company give us five reasons to go along...

1. Amazing reviews
Funny, dark and intense, Lucinda Coxon's excellent new play Herding Cats comes to Hampstead Theatre. This transfer follows a fantastic run at the Theatre Royal, Bath last Christmas, where it received amazing reviews: The Times said "Faultless performances... Unforgettable...” (four stars). The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner said: "A brave, brutal 75 minutes. See it and shudder” (four stars).

2. Writer Lucinda Coxon
Lucinda Coxon’s recent work includes the award-winning, sell-out hit Happy Now? at the National Theatre and the phenomenal The Crimson Petal and The White for the BBC, described by The Guardian as ‘as complex and rewarding as anything the BBC has produced’. Herding Cats perfectly blends her laugh-out loud humour with ruthless observation of the dark side.

3. A superb cast...
The production comes to London with the original cast, acclaimed for their outstanding performances in the Bath run: Olivia Hallinan who starred as Laura Timmins in BBC’s Lark Rise to Candleford and Kim in the award-winning Sugar Rush; David Michaels of Heartbeat and As Time Goes By; and Philip McGinley, Tom Kerrigan in Coronation Street and a seasoned performer at the Hampstead Theatre following his role in Jonathan Harvey’s Canary.

4. Thrilling contemporary writing...
Set in London now, Herding Cats is spotlights a generation living in the world the babyboomers left behind. It arrives at Hampstead following great new work in their new studio Hampstead Downstairs by David Eldridge, Amelia Bullmore, Katie Mitchell, Anna Mackmin and Kathy Burke.

5. It’s Christmas… and Herding Cats is the Pantidote!
The play features three characters balancing the cocktail of 21st century life, something that proves impossible as herding cats for them in the lead-up to Christmas. Modern living presents countless opportunities for them to pretend to be people that they aren’t but the home truths of the festive season changes everything.

For a bracing alternative Christmas show, Herding Cats is a short sharp shock involving reindeer antlers, Champagne and a special appearance from our very own Santa Claus. And there’s still plenty of time to party afterwards...

Herding Cats continues at Hampstead Theatre until 7 January 2012.