THE iconic war-time novel Catch-22 is being brought to life on stage at The Birmingham Rep.

Joseph Heller's book spawned the phrase catch-22 to describe an impossible situation and sold 10 million copies across the world after being published in 1961.

Set at the end of World War Two the story follows bombardier Yossarian who is trapped in an inescapable war and the target of countless people he has never wanting to kill him.

This new staging of Catch-22 by Northern Stage is directed by two-time Obie Award-winning and Drama Desk nominated director Rachel Chavkin.

Rachel is the founding artistic director of Brooklyn-based devising ensemble the TEAM which has won a raft of awards since its inception.

She said: "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.”

Northern Stage Artistic Director Lorne Campbell added: "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."

He added: "It’s one of those rare pieces of truly great art that manages to be complex and simple at the same time.”

The cast includes Daniel Ainsworth, Philip Arditti, Geoff Arnold, Victoria Bewick, Simon Darwen, Michael Hodgson and Liz Kettle.

Catch-22 is at The Rep from Tuesday, May 20 until Saturday, May 24.

Tickets cost £12.50 to £35 with concessions available, for more information phone 0121 236 4455 or visit