When a show is preceded by its own reputation as an iconic, Oscar-winning film, one might be forgiven for having reservations about subsequent incarnations of any kind. Thankfully, Monster Media’s interpretation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest puts all reservations to rest in a production that succeeds at the highest level.
When Randle McMurphy (Michael Robins) is committed to a psychiatric asylum, he unwittingly provokes the menacing Nurse Ratched (Catherine Glavicic), who controls the ward with an iron fist, while forging the most unlikely of friendships in the process.
With award winning director Carl J. Sorheim at the helm, the play by Dale Wasserman and based on the novel by Ken Kesey is executed with delicate precision and just the right amount of integrity, light and shade.
The casting, in particular, is of exceptional note with an ensemble cast that bring complete authenticity and charm to the stage from the outset, including Eddie Muliaumaseali’i, Natalie Bond, Nicholas Denton, Jack Dixon-Gunn, Josh Futcher, David Gannon, Kostas Ilias, Troy Larkin, Stephanie Lillis, Paul Morris, Seton Pollock, Angela Scundi and Ben Sofowora. .
Michael Robins provides a fresh take as the mischievous McMurphy; a complex and demanding role which, in the wrong hands, could easily fail to affect. However, Robins makes the character his own and does very well in the process.
Catherine Glavicic as the subtly twisted Nurse Ratched is chilling yet sincere, offering an excellent concoction of kindness, authority, manipulation and bite, while Troy Larkin as the troubled Dale Harding is outstanding in a portrayal laden with conviction, torment and tenderness.
Add to the brew an alluring lighting (Jason Crick) and sound design, and a pace and energy to match, and Monster Media’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is most definitely not to be missed.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is playing now until June 11, 2017 at Southbank Theatre, The Lawler, 140 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne. Tickets available at www.mtc.com.au or by phone on (03) 8688 0800.
Image by GW Photography