Lenkom Theatre, Moscow, Russia
premiere 27 December 2005, Main stage
Author of dramatisation
Set & costumes
Ken Kesey's novel
"One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest"
200 min., with intermission
Alexandr Lazarev / Andrey Sokolov, Alexandr Sirin / Ivan Agapov, Sergei Piottrovsky, Aleksey Skuratov / Dmitry Gizbrecht, Alexandr Gorelov, Andrey Leonov, Ivan Agapov / Pavel Kapitonov, Boris Chunaev, Elena Shanina / Anna Yakunina, Marina Korolkova, Alexandr Karnaushkin, Stanislav Zhitarev / Nikolay Shusharin, Kirill Petrov / Vitaliy Borovik / Aleksey Skuratov, Sergey Alexandrov, Vitaliy Borovik / Alexandr Salnik, Anna Bolshova / Alla Yuganova, Natalya Mihailova, Ester Lamzina / Alisa Sapegina, Boris Chunaev, Genadiy Kozlov, Evgeni Boytsov, Levan Mshiladze / Vitaliy Borovik / Alexandr Salnik / Kirill Petrov, Anatoliy Popov, Sergey Chulkov, Danila Cherbadzhi - Kurilko
Ken Kesey writes the novel "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" while working as a night shift watchman for a psychiatric clinic for veterans and under the influence of LSD as he was previously participating in voluntary drug tests held and financed by the government. He and a group of friends buy a 25-year old school bus for the price of $ 1500, paint it in bright colours, name it "Further" and start travelling around the US and giving out drugs to anyone who wants to try. And it is as if the leading character in the novel - Randle Patrick McMurphy, comes off this same school bus of the "Merry Pranksters", by which they became known, to turn into one of the brightest representatives of the so-called counterculture. Kesey's second novel "Sometimes a Great Notion" comments on conflict between western individualism and eastern intellectualism taking place in the US. After an artistic setback, including doing some prison time for marijuana possession, he published his third novel "Sailor song". In his books he will often present a large scale model of the society through a particular case he describes. Kesey also resorts to "local nationalism" as he usually sets the action in his novels in the places where he spent his childhood years - a fact that explains why some critics compare him to William Faulkner.
After "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" gains popularity Kirk Douglas buys the license and teams with Dale Wasserman to work over a stage adaptation. "I enjoy the idea of the rebellion of man against society." Wasserman admits. Later in the years his son Michael Douglas produces the film with Jack Nicholson in the leading role. In 1976 "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest", directed by Milos Forman, receives five Oscars.
Alexander Morfov offers his original stage adaptation.
Alexander and Excogitation
This is not a theatre review, this is a portrait attempt of one of my closest friends. That's why it's difficult. That's why I go straight forward. I've seen all of Sasho's productions but always found the biggest pleasure during rehearsals. This man has fun while at work. That's why everything he does seems light, fairy, true and at the same time full of mighty power. His themes are always very personal. I feel that he is in an on-going admission of love for humanity, no, for the human being would be more precise. As it is with Chaplin, with Fellini. And I think this is exactly what makes his productions full of meaning. During an argument that we once had we agreed that every piece of art that has endured time, has been motivated by humanism. Something like the security thread in a bill that helps you figure if its counterfeit. A man who refuses to agree with the surrounding world tries to invent it. He once told me: "Man, I have the feeling that I should have gotten off this train in XVIIth century but I missed my station and ended up in the XXth." Our favourite exercise - excogitation, is an incredible experience. The rules of the game are that every idea needs to be taken further to a higher degree if there is still more to be added to it. Cervantes, Shakespeare, Beckett, Mrozek - all of them are our close friends in a parallel dimension. Fun and sadness are interwoven into an intricate thread. He, unweaving this thread, sets both of them free in his productions. At the back of the Wailing Wall there must be a Laughing Wall. Strange stuff, or as they say: "Time has no coast!" But I think what best describes my friend Alexander Morfov is a title of a book by an author we both fondly love - Emil Cioran. The title is "Vertigo of Skepticism"*, and maybe of Love.
~ Ludmil Stanev
*the book's original title is "Syllogismes de l'amertume"
Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn, apple seed and apple thorn,
Wire, briar, limber lock, three geese in a flock
One flew East, one flew West, and one flew over the cuckoo's nest
My grandmother died in a hospital. At the time we were at the reservation and when we arrived they had already buried her. My father said that we should undig her and bury her according to our tradition. We went to the graveyard - me, my father, my uncle - the Jumping Wolf, and we undug her. Well, true it wasn't a perfect planning, because we couldn't find her immeadiately and we undug a few other corpses and there was no time to bury them back because the police arrived and we had to run. We started for home. My father was driving and my uncle was sitting next to him, on the front seats, while I and my grandmother were back in the bodywork. The truck was jumping all over and I had hugged her tight so that she doesn't fall off. For a moment it felt like not I, but she is the one hugging me and I think I heard her voice - quiet and melodic... Grandma used to sing this song to us while we were sitting by the kipper, chasing the flies. On the next day we were arrested. The policemen were beating us and shouting "When will you, stupid Indians, learn that dead people should be buried in the ground!" We buried our dead in the sky.
~ Chief Bromden
Gospel According to McMurphy
1. You're safe as long as you laugh. Open up & laugh; when you lose your laugh, you lose your footing, your grasp on life.
2.True wisdom is largely innate, inherent in your biological nature. The influence of others is a weakening force. Be yourself & what you want to be.
3. Persist in the face of opposition. Don't give up the ship- and don't let the 'givens' of your life, physical or situational, limit your choices.
4. Life is a gamble for stakes. Play not to win, but to try the impossible, the prize is in the effort. Remember, honest self-interest equals sanity.
5. Intense and diversified experiences makes a full life, not careers and routines. And sexual experience is a central business of living, a fundamental good.
6. Be aware and analytical. Look the game over before you draw a hand.
7. Be adaptable, not rigid.
8. Freedom goes to the wary. Stay free of bonds, even self-imposed ones. Travel light-footed & fast; a moving target is hard to hit.
9. A man's destiny is always in his own hands.
10. Bravado & courage are sources of power, and physical contests are necessary to preserve one's integrity.
~ John Taylor Gatto