Classic Catch-22 coming to Richmond Theatre

Catch-22: Joseph Heller's novel was published in 1961

Catch-22: Joseph Heller's novel was published in 1961

First published in News by , Reporter

Joseph Heller's famous novel, Catch-22, will be brought to life on stage at Richmond Theatre later this month.

First published as a novel in 1961 and having sold more than 10m copies worldwide, director Rachel Chavkin hopes her adaptation will be a fresh take on the classic.

Set in the closing months of World War II, a bombardier named Yossarian is trapped in the absurd world of an inescapable war.

With a bullet with his name on it, he is stalked by the catch-22 with no way out, which coins the phrase today.

Philip Arditti, who plays Yossarian, admits he jumped at the chance to be part of this re-telling of such a well-known novel.

He says: "It is an exciting project to be part of and obviously Rachel is a wonderful director, having been a fan of the book since she was 13.

"I had not read the novel but was, of course, aware of it and did not want to miss out on playing such an iconic character."

Arditti adds the play is perhaps more relevant now than at any time since it was first penned by Heller.

He says: "It is so much more relevant now what with what is going on in Iraq and Syria and Ukraine as well.

"Catch-22 looks to put the finger on why we are fighting."

Director Chavkin says: "Heller's stage adaptation really captures the heart of the book, and this production will aim to further breathe that air - absurd comedy, deadpan horror, and an amazing hero-antihero at the centre.

"Audiences can expect period music, some jitterbugging, purgatory antics, and moments of quiet at the end of the world.

"And humour of course - Heller's and mine."

Catch-22; Richmond Theatre, the Green, Richmond; June 24-28, evening shows 7.30pm, matinees 2.30pm; tickets £6.90-£35.40; visit atgtickets.com/venues/richmond-theatre for more details.

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