Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

An illuminating performance of Kesey's classic

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Torch Theatre , Torch Theatre, Milford Haven , October-19-02
KEN KESEY'S iconic 1960s novel adapted for the stage by Dale Wasserman is superbly realised by director Peter Doran.

A large amount of compassion, humour and observation has gone into this production of what is ultimately a searing satire on the ways in which society demands conformity and deals with the rebel.

Set in a psychiatric hospital towards the end of the 1950s the institutional atmosphere is created to great effect by set designer Sean Crowley who manages to realistically portray both the confines experienced by the characters and the potential freedom almost within reach.

We are seamlessly taken from laughter to sympathy to outrage through well-crafted performances as we observe along with withdrawn inmate Chief Bromden, played with strong physical presence by Tim Perrin, the conflict between the anti-hero rebel Randle McMurphy (an exuberant and thoughtful performance from Richard Nichols) and the authority figure Nurse Ratched (Kyra Williams is powerful and fully in control of her own talent).

The accomplished cast play their roles with strong focus, much perceptiveness and humour.

Michael Webber excels as the manic Cheswick, Dave Ainsworth as Ruckly brings depth to a role of very few words and Keith Woodason is highly accomplished as the uptight Dale Harding.

Standing ovations from the audience on the opening night of this production bore testimony to the power of this performance, a highly recommended and entirely therapeutic experience.

Reviewed by: Western Mail

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