One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

First published in Showbiz News

I AM not ashamed to admit that I have shed a tear to some Hollywood Blockbusters in my time.

But when I (and a friend who came with me) were holding back the tears at more than one point in Marco Players' One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest you know the cast is doing something right.

With its gleaming reputation in Bolton, I knew Marco's Players performance would be an enjoyable evening.

But with the daring choice of the Dale Wasserman play based on Ken Casey’s novel I did wonder whether the group could pull it off.

With the audience being sat around the perimeter of mental institution’s day room it was easy to feel like a fly on the wall amid the drama.

Complete with white walls and Nurse Ratched’s medication room the professional staging perfectly sets the scene.

The heartbreaking story centres around the rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, who is sent to the hospital after faking insanity to avoid serving his sentence for statutory rape at a work farm in Pendleton. Clearly sane, McMurphy encourages the other men, many of whom are in the facility voluntarily, to rebel against the strict routines of Nurse Ratched.

McMurphy soon picks up on the nurse’s ability to pinpoint the patients’ weaknesses and the clashing of the two strong characters is inevitable.

The 17 strong cast set a very high standard for am-drams. Julie Hall’s portrayal of Nurse Ratched even conned the audience into thinking she was a caring nurse like her patients initially believed. But her wicked personality is soon clear to all despite her prim and proper appearance.

Paul Costello was fantastic as the hilarious, mischievous lead man McMurphy. Being a huge fan of Jack Nicholson as McMurphy in the 1975 film I thought he would be difficult to top. But Mr Costello’s portrayal created a character the audience warmed immediately too.

It is hard to pick individuals out as all of the main characters were extremely talented and convincing in their roles. But Peter Henrets, who played Billy Bibbit was fantastic and deserves a special mention.

Mr Henrys was cast perfectly as the suicidal character, who is nervous, shy and boyish despite being in his 30s. He maintained the character’s stutter throughout and genuinely looked terrified and on edge at the mention of his overbearing mother.

If people are expecting a light hearted watch then this is not the play to see. The play is intense, gripping and tear jerking and makes you want to watch it all over again. Due to the nature of the story I would not recommended it to children or those easily offended.

It will be at Chorley Old Road Methodist Church Hall until Saturday.

For more information visit themarcoplayers.net

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