‘One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest’ at ‘The LOST Theatre’.
‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ is a very well-known play adapted into film starring Jack Nickelson about a borderline insane, passionately deranged, trouble maker, law breaker, named RP McMurphy whom manages to get himself transferred from the penitentiary work farms to a ward in a cosy little mental institution headed by Nurse Ratched.
As McMurphy navigates and creates relationships with his fellow nuts, McMurphy takes on a challenge to upset Nurse Ratched to the extent that she becomes ‘fed up’ and ‘loses it’, therefore proving that she is not a machine, but a normal person with emotions and a lack of tolerance. The film is exceptionally charming, full of passion, dark moments that create empathy are frequent, and McMurphy’s antics appear to be justified as he is just filling the people around him with a carefree sense of life which leads to a sort of fulfilment, until the bitter end.
Now the play script is a little different, the end is different and the story unfolds in a different manor, however the concepts, passions and relationships between McMurphy and everyone else are more or less the same. So, when you approach such a play you need to be very careful in how its realised; you don’t want to just recreate the film as you would like to think you have your own artistic ideas to pull out of the performers and the script, but you must stay true to a script that is this popular, and stay true to the passion.
The piece I saw last night at ‘The LOST Theatre’ directed by Paul Taylor-Mills, was trying to put their own ‘spin’ on the text and subsequently missed out on key attributes. RP McMurphy was lacking passion and the actor playing him, Sean Buchanan, did not take any risks, Nurse Ratched (Annabel Capper) looked weak as soon as she stepped on the stage- her choices were flat and without justifications, and the Chief’s monologues were poorly emoted through a shabby representation of US beat poetry. The inmates and guards were all ‘over acting’ or ‘indicating’ as Stanislavski, a well respecting acting method creator would put it, which removed any possible subtly or pure transcending moments. The most talented actor of the bunch, Francis Adams, was hardly on stage and was the only one with consistent beautifully played moments. Lee Colley’s performance is worth a mention, as there were some moments in which he did not over act the role of ‘Billy Bibbit’, however his work is far from over.
Overall, this piece being successful depends on the actors, their talent and experience, and the director really taking the time to flush out the subtle moments. This performance of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest’ is homage at best, poorly acted and poorly directed- it lacks any real backbone, and any real truthful moments.
If you are into the play, I would still go check it out. The LOST theatre is awesome, intimate, nice bar, cool people- and I’m considering getting myself tickets to all of their shows, just because I like the place. You might go see the play there and realize that you like the place, not the play, the place.
Performed at the Lost Theatre.