Lower Sixth play – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
9 Dec 2014
Last weekend, the budding actors and actresses in the Lower Sixth took to the stage for their performance of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Student-producer of the play, Emilie Morrow has written an account of her experiences as part of one of the crew.
“For the Lower Sixth play this year, we took Dale Wasserman’s theatre adaptation of the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and shortened it a little as the original play took over 2 hours 40 minutes when performed on Broadway. The play has a quick moving story line following a new admission (Mr McMurphy) to Nurse Ratched’s ward in a psychiatric hospital in the 1970’s. Mr McMurphy (Chris Dodsworth) proceeds to cause havoc throughout the ward upending the regimented routine of the patients and challenging their relationship with Nurse Ratched. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is set in a psychiatric hospital so we tried to ensure that all topics were presented by the cast with compassion.
It was a wonderful experience to work with many great Lower Sixth actors and also those who got involved with production and backstage. Whilst enjoyable, the production of the play was not entirely trouble-free. We had a couple of minor casting difficulties at the beginning, unfortunately due to unexpected illness, as we had to re-cast one of the main characters, Chief Bromden, Chad Frost-Smith from the Upper Sixth kindly stepped in and the cast were immensely grateful for this. Despite this slight setback at the beginning, the cast were all very enthusiastic and worked well together to understand and deliver a very challenging play.”
Fellow Lower Sixth student Imogen Wade was an audience member at one of the hugely successful performances wrote the following review of the play. We hope you enjoy reading.
“The emotional strength of the acting is what left the most profound impact on the audience. Every character was sensitively felt, however the last scene in which the Chief howls over McMurphy’s inert body stood out by far. Susannah Townsend’s icy rendition of Nurse Ratched was genuinely terrifying, and Chris Dodsworth’s performance managed to convey the essence of McMurphy’s assertiveness and rebellious wit. The audience laughed and empathised at every key moment, communicating both the humour and the sadness of the original.”