Over the past eleven years, Bath based Playing Up Theatre Company has built a strong reputation for delivering powerful and challenging theatre. In that time, it has staged the work of playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, John Arden and Dario Fo to enormous critical acclaim. The company has also, on occasion, delved into classic literature with productions of Jonson’s Volpone and Marlow’s Faustus as well as producing theatrical productions of the novels Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Dale Wasserman. This November they will be staging a rarely seen production of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22.
Heller’s novel, first published in 1961, is considered one of the greatest works of twentieth century American literature. Set in World War II, the blackly comic story details the attempts of Captain John Yossarian to rationalise the madness of war and the lunacy of a bureaucratic conundrum; you have to be insane to keep flying bombing missions and yet only a sane man would see the danger and make a bid to escape his missions on the grounds of insanity! So relatable is Yossarian’s absurd dilemma that the idiom ‘Catch 22’ is now recognised by the Oxford English Dictionary.
Catch 22 is a hilarious and yet deeply moving play, adapted by Heller himself. With over 40 characters and multiple locations it is a suitably challenging script which Playing Up have tackled with their usual high standards and professionalism. The play is being performed from Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th November at The Rondo Theatre in Larkhall, Bath. If you liked M.A.S.H., you’ll love this and if you don’t know Catch 22 – you should!
Performances take place at 7:30pm and tickets are available from Bath Festivals Box Office on 01225 463362. For more information please go to www.playing-up.co.uk