One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

February 2006


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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - by Dale Wasserman, from the novel by Ken Kesey 
Performed - Feb 1st to Feb 4th 2006

Synopsis
This satire is set among the patients and workers in a mental institution. It tells the story (narrated by an inmate) of an energetic con man who seeks institutionalisation as a means of escaping the rigours of a prison work farm.

Before long, he begins to challenge the dictatorial Nurse Ratched, irrevocably altering the destiny of those in the ward.

Review
It's a personal thing but going to the theatre always sends little butterflies inside of me. I don't know why. Possibly it's the setting. But what I do know, watching the cast prepare before the performance, is that nerves don't seem to be on anyone's agenda tonight.

Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was published in 1962. It is an intriguing and beguiling story set among the patients and workers in a mental institution. It tells the story (narrated by Chief Bromden expertly played by John Molsen) of an energetic con man who seeks institutionalisation as a means of escaping the rigors of a prison work farm. The story is made up of series of skirmishes between McMurphy (David Edgar) and Nurse Ratched (Glyn Ruskin). McMurphy becomes a hero, changing the life of the inmates, but pays dearly for his individualism.

This production adapted by Dale Wasserman, uses the intimate setting of the Blackfriars stage to great effect. The clinical coldness of the set accentuates the stark realities which face McMurphy and the inmates. Intentional or not the harsh lighting punctuates the life that these poor souls have to endure.

Boston Playgoers have certainly thrown themselves into this production. The four months of rehearsals clearly show onstage the professional attitude these 'amateur' dramatists adopt. During the production each character fills the stage with activity; The nurses checking the medication in their observation booth, the patients sat huddled together but in a world of their own.

For me, the Boston Playgoers nailed it and I must say that Trevor Fenton's portrayal of Anthony Martini, a wired young Italian inmate, provided the necessary humour against the story of such adversity.
Sam Atkins - BBC Radio Lincs 8/2/06

Cast
Actors names on right:

Chief Bromden - Jon Molson 
Randle P. McMurphy - David Edgar 
Nurse Ratched - Glyn Ruskin 
Dale Harding - Stuart Farrar 
Billy Bibbit - PJ Roberts 
Charles Cheswick - Peter Grimshaw 
Frank Sacanlon - Phil Landshoft 
Anthony Martini - Trevor Fenton 
Ruckley - Stuart Worsley 
Dr Spivey - Ros Blowers 
Nurse Flynn - Liz Worsley 
Aide Warren - James Henfrey 
Aide Williams - Bruce Hicks 
Aide Turkel - John Lingard 
Candy - Shantelle Gaston-Hird 
Sandra - Suzanne Lynch

Production Team

Director - John Lingard
Producer - Judy Mugleston
Stage Manager - Judith Hall
Set Design - Paul Gibson
Set Construction - Paul Gibson and members of playgoers
Costume - Glyn Ruskin, Liz Worsley, Lucy Taylor
Furniture & Properties - 
Lighting - Paul Gibson
Sound - Paul Gibson
Poster - David Edgar
Publicity - 
Programme - 
Prompt - Lucy Taylor