One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Premiere:  19/10/2002
Igor in role: Taber

Dramatized Novel by Ken Kesey

When Ken Kesey (1935-2001), the distinguished figure of American literature of the sixties connecting the generations of beatniks and hippies, published his novel One Flew Over the Cockoo´s Nest in 1962, i.e. forty years ago, he did not suppose it would become a bestseller well-known all over the world. Hallucinogens Kesey came into contact with as a volunteer in a governmental drug experiment and a hospital attendant at a clinic enabled him to emphathise with patients of a psychiatric clinic who are main figures of his novel. The success was great and the novel was dramatized in a year with the same success. The drama played continuously on stages all over the world was written by Dale Wasserman (born 1917), the author of libretto to a popular musical Man of La Mancha. The first night of One Flew Over the Cockoo´s Nest took place in the Cort Theatre in New Yorku in November 1963. Though, it was not a great success then (Kirk Douglas returned in the part of McMurphy on the theatrical stage after twenty years), the play started its wandering along stages all over the world in the year 1969 after Wasserman’s revision of the text and its first night in San Francisco in the year 1969 was triumphal. In the year 2001, when the drama returned to Broadway, it acquired the Tony Award for the Best Play Revival and awards of New York critique. The successful theme was treated by Miloš Forman for the third time in his film version made in the year 1975 with unforgettable Jack Nicholson acting the main part. Although the novel arose from the desire of the generation of the sixties for freedom and nonconformism, it has lost nothing of its topicality. A microworld of psychiatric clinic where Big Nurse Ratched commands patients with strange methods until the arrival of rebel McMurphy seems to be as attractive as it was before. The clinic as a prison of which nobody may escape is a venue of impressive story about abusing power, manipulation with human conscience, human fear and desire to oppose pressure, treating one’s own complexes by maltreating the weaker … In brief, One Flew Over the Cockoo´s Nest is a famous novel, film and a play full of dramatic tension given in the Brno Municipal Theatre.