The Launceston Players are excited at the opportunity to present the classic play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 2017 with Megan Jolly as director, to be staged at the Earl Arts Centre from 24 – 28 May.
The play is set in the Day Room in a ward of a State Mental Hospital somewhere in the US Pacific Northwest in the 1960s. Randle P. McMurphy (Mac) is a charming rogue who contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather in a prison. This, he learns, was a mistake.
It was written as a novel by Ken Kesey in 1962 and was adapted into a Broadway play by Dale Wasserman.
The film, released in 1975, also based on the novel, won 5 Academy awards.
Time Magazine included the novel in its 100 Best English language novels from 1923 to 2005.
For online booking, click on the green “Tickets” button above. Alternatively call Grahame Foster on phone 0413 629 500 to arrange to pick up your ticket at the door.
Although there is no allocated seating, if you have a mobility problem, we can accommodate you in the front and second rows if you let us know by emailing email@example.com
THEATRE REVIEW BY MARCUS BOWER :
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest which opened confidently last night at the Earl Arts Centre captured the spirit and thematic intent of Dale Wasserman’s play. Based on the well known novel by Ken Kesey, this was a fitting production to celebrate The Launceston Players 90th Anniversary.
Much of its success was due to Megan Jolly’s firm directorial hand and an ensemble that invested a palpable commitment to the play.
Working with this ensemble, Jolly was able to convey much of Wasserman’s interpretation of Kesey’s book, that set itself inside a mental institution in the 60’s.
Simply put, America in that decade was a volatile time where authority in all its manifestations was being questioned and challenged. The play’s chief protagonist, RP McMurphy was the embodiment of this rebellious spirit and Gerard Lane’s portrayal of the ‘disruptor’ did not disappoint.
Lane led and indeed drove this play and gave a controlled and calibrated performance that grew-as did the play. He made us care for McMurphy and possessed a presence that enveloped all those whom he met on stage. His role was pivotal.
Orbiting around protagonist McMurphy were the inmates of a State Mental Hospital somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
Leigh Oswin as Dale Harding led the ensemble of inmates and caught with unerring accuracy the affected mannerisms of this conflicted character. He held our attention and admiration for the entire play. Amanda Dawes as the calculating Nurse Ratched, possessed the right dose of menace and manipulation and seemed to revel in the role; while Robbie Bleakley sustained the difficult part of Martini without falling into caricature. Danny Gibson invested a degree of child-like vulnerability as the doomed Billy Bibbitt while Jan Gluszyk and Antonio Zanchetta held the outer elements of the ensemble with understated credibility. Callum Westwood had the physical presence as Chief Bromden but his accent as a North American Indian was questionable. Lena Reilly-Andrews possessed a delightful innocence as Ratched’s junior assistant and counter balanced Fiona Reilly’s colourful and vivacious Candy. Hers was a flamboyant cameo.
The strength of this production was quite clearly the ensemble but strong production values underpinned the performances.
The talented Darren Wilmott’s wonderful set, lighting and sound design gave the show its visual and aural integrity while the costumes by Gina McKenzie were authentic and added greatly to the overall look and feel of the show.
It was evident that Jolly had brought together an experienced technical crew who gave her the physical platform from which she could project her own take on Wasserman’s words.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is a work that was and is a valuable and worthy addition to The Players’ long history of theatrical productions in this town. The season is not long so the age old advice would be to get a ticket now before it finishes this Sunday. You would not be disappointed.
Playwright: Dale Wasserman
Director: Megan Jolly
Randle Patrick McMurphy – Gerard Lane
Chief Bromden – Callum Westwood
Dale Harding – Leigh Oswin
Billy Bibbit – Danny Gibson
Scanlon – Jan Gluszyk
Cheswick – Antonio Zanchetta
Martini – Robbie Bleakley
Ruckley – Aaron Beck
Nurse Ratched – Amanda Dawes
Dr Spivey – Troy Ridgway
Nurse Flinn – Lena Reilly-Andrews
Aide Warren – Harrison Collis Oates
Aide Williams – Jaan Schild
Aide Turkle – Malcolm Reid
Candy Starr – Fiona Reilly
Sandy – Caitlyn Stirling
Set, Lighting and Sound Design – Darren Willmot
Costumes – Gina McKenzie
Props – Jan Murphy
Executive producers – Grahame Foster, Jeff Hockley