catch this classic tale

Geoff Arnold, Daniel Ainsworth and Philip Arditti in Catch 22''Photo by Topher McGrillis
Geoff Arnold, Daniel Ainsworth and Philip Arditti in Catch 22''Photo by Topher McGrillis

Joseph Heller’s legendary novel Catch-22 gets the theatrical treatment at Derby Theatre from June 17-21 when Nothern Stage pay a visit.

Following the success of Blue Remembered Hills (2013) and Close the Coalhouse Door (2012), Northern Stage is proud to present the first UK touring production of Heller’s classic novel.

Heller’s iconic opening line ‘He was going to live forever, or die in the attempt’ sets the scene for Yossarian, a US bombardier stationed in Italy in the closing months of World War II, who finds himself trapped in the absurd world of an inescapable war, thwarted at every turn by the merciless ‘Catch-22’.

Funny, fast-paced and intelligent, Northern Stage Artistic Director Lorne Campbell says of the book: “It’s the story of a man caught in the belly of the beast, of an individual looking at the system that runs the world around him and recognising it for the lunacy that it is. The book says some incredibly prescient and relevant things about the corrupting influence of capitalism on human endeavour and about the tension between what you have to do and what you know to be right.”

“We’re very excited to be producing Catch-22, directed by the wonderful Rachel Chavkin. Rachel’s recent work with her company, The TEAM, has enjoyed huge success at the National Theatre.

“Working with a cast of hugely talented British actors, we expect this to be a landmark production of Heller’s classic text.

Rachel Chavkin added: “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, and moments of quiet at the end of the world.

“And humour of course. Heller’s, and mine.”

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The role of Yossarian will be played by Philip Arditti. Since graduating from RADA in 2004 Philip has worked extensively on the stage and on camera, including leading roles at the National Theatre as well as on TV for the BBC

and HBO. Most recently Philip worked with Ridley Scott on the feature Exodus.

On the small screen, he is probably best known for playing Uday Hussein in House of Saddam and this summer he will appear in The Honourable Woman opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal directed by Hugo Blick for BBC2.

Tickets to see Catch-22 are £10.50-£25.50. For more information and to book tickets call the box office on 01332 593939 or go online at