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David Porter » Reviews » One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Black Ram Theatre at The Cut, Halesworth

Review published in Eastern Daily Press, 9 September 2009.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Some straight plays from earlier periods can seem irrelevant to now. This from the Sixties is about sanity and madness and resonates well with how things are today.

Set in a mental institution, it shows how people are not necessarily insane if they don’t fit into the system or society. It’s about being independent and free.

New inmate McMurphy (Russell Turner), an instinctive rebel feigning lunacy, comes into immediate conflict with the rule-bound rigidity of Nurse Ratched (Claire Bibby). Other stock, crazy characters include the elective deaf-mute Indian Chief (Thomas Renshaw) who finally releases McMurphy from earthly life, after he’s been lobotomised to conformity.

After a hesitant start, it builds well, with supportive, well judged contributions from all patients individually and collectively and medical staff, who could have been more menacing.

Director Ross McGregor puts them on a claustrophobic set and gets the best from darkly humorous lines amidst the psychiatric jargon and human emotion.

It’s moving material, and not for the faint-hearted.

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