“Catch 22” is the latest TG performance to reach a stage near YOU this year. It chronicles the trials and tribulations of Captain John Yossarian as his attempts to leave active combat duty in WWII are foiled by the self-fulfilling “Catch 22”; for a man to be allowed to leave combat missions, he must be insane. However, to ask to leave combat missions proves a man’s sanity – as only an insane man would fly combat missions with such dangers surrounding them.
The play pokes fun at the extensive bureaucratic nature of the American government during war, whilst also combining well some very funny moments and some genuinely sad ones. One scene, involving Major Major (Patrick Haste) and his assistant, Sergeant Towser (Leodora Darlington) discussing when people were allowed into his office (when he wasn’t in) was very reminiscent of the guard scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail!
Bret Ware plays the lead, Captain Yossarian, very well, without putting a foot out of place, encapsulating well the incredulity of the power of “Catch 22″. Sam Dobson, who played “the Texan”, gave a powerful performance as the patriotic and outgoing CID Officer. The generic WWII military desert uniforms meant the actors had to put more effort into portraying each character and making them stand out, but this didn’t prove an issue as it was easy to follow and understand the personalities of each individual character.
Some parts of the production were confusing, such as the faked death of Doctor Daneeka (Will Kynaston), which perhaps could have been made easier to understand through the use of narration, but nevertheless a quick read of the synopsis of the book should clear up any confusion.
Despite the subject matter being the bureaucracy of government, this production has laughs throughout and is certainly worth going to watch.
“Catch 22″ is performing tonight and tomorrow at 7.30pm in the Annex Theatre, with a 2pm matinée tomorrow. With tickets at only £6.50 for students or £5 with a Performing Arts card you can’t really go wrong. You can purchase them from the box office.