One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Dailes Teatris, Riga, Latvia
premiere 20 March 2015, Main stage
Ken Kesey's novel
210 min., with intermission
Artūrs Skrastiņš, Ilze Ķuzule-Skrastiņa, Ģirts Ķesteris, Kaspars Bindemanis, Lauris Dzelzītis, Pēteris Gaudiņš, Juris Bartkevičs, Lauris Subatnieks, Juris Žagars / Artūrs Dīcis, Kristīne Nevarauska, Ieva Segliņa / Dārta Daneviča, Anete Krasovska, Aija Dzērve, Sarmīte Rubule, Gints Andžāns, Edijs Zalaks, Dainis Gaidelis, Juris Strenga, Āris Rozentāls, Gunārs Placēns, Niklāvs Kurpnieks, Toms Treinis, Kaspars Martinsons, Egons Gerdzijevskis, Roberts Gaidulis
The American writer Ken Kesey’s novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" (1962) became a bestseller immediately after publication. Miloš Forman’s 1975 film with Jack Nicholson in the lead role is also very well known. McMurphy was born for freedom. The carefree, brutally sincere card player, who has ended up in the psychiatric hospital to escape prison, is a worthy opponent to Nurse Ratched. The system destroys individuality, and it’s impossible for a person to submit to strict regime controlled from the side or put up with interference in one's private life. Most shocking of all is the fact that most of the patients have voluntarily chosen such an intolerable life themselves. It’s not entirely clear whether you are the crazy one or it's all the others around you. The finale leads to cleansing and freedom – although at a very high price.
Nurse Ratched and McMurphy
The Bulgarian director Alexander Morfov is capable of creating an original theatrical model. His productions are always highly visual and his directing style is original and unpredictable. This is the reason his productions usually have a long run and attract a large and diverse audience. Alexander Morfov, whose productions are characterised by a unique artistic world and carnival-like lightness, is a real theatre magician with a subtle sense of humour. It’s a world in which reality and imagination, the comic and tragic, the childishly naive and serious are tightly entwined. The productions trick, engage and elicit laughter from the audience offering a palette of powerful emotions.This director and his productions have received many prestigious international drama awards. His 2012 production of Nikolai Erdman’s "Finita la Comedia!" for the "Dailes" Theatre was nominated for the 2012/ 2013 "Actor's Night" Prize in 9 categories, including Best Production and Best Director of the Year. Artūrs Skrastiņš received the Best Actor of the Year Award. The production was one of the contenders for the "Diena" Annual Prize for Culture and also for the LTV1 "100g Kulturas" programme’s "Kilograms kultūrai" Award.
"You must win the audience's respect and interest, especially when you are working on a big stage. When there are a thousand people in the hall you can't turn yourself into an ostrich and insist that you are presenting some conceptual art and it is understandable only for those who are very exquisite or educated. The show should be able to reach everyone - the wider audiences as well as the scientists and lecturers, everyone should be able to find something for himself. You can claim that you are successful only if the production is multilayered and educational, it has bright and somber moments - that are both sad and joyful, colourful at the same time."
"This text used to be considered as a hint against the socialist regime while later this concept disappears. Now it is suitable for the modern system of brutal capitalism - banks, debts, resigning governments - we have become consumers only, we have become pawns in the hands of those who control the system, but we are certainly not part of the system. We are not expected to need a rest, we must be active all the time and this just leads to a burnout. It is accepted as weakness, as a diagnose, and our only escape is to shrink within ourselves. Some people turn into outcasts. The system is cruel. It's almost impossible to gain back your balance, to find your feet again."
"I've noticed that if the director is not a local actors become more cooperative, more active, not to say fiery, even the nurse - just sitting in her apron, you can see that those people love what they do. Alexander Morfov has created yet another brilliant work on the stage of the Dailes Teatris (the previous one being "Finita la Comedia!") which makes you cry, and laugh, and realise how severe life can be. I also enjoyed the set design but I should be thanking Martins Vilkersis for that."
"After the first part my emotions were "Spectacular show for Dailes!" I was so thrilled! But in the second part laughter becomes less and you are taken deeper and deeper into the tragedy and severity of reality. It is difficult to recover from what you see - you keep thinking about how harsh life is but, and then - you see it everyday, it's your reality. Outstanding! The production is very strong psychologically, the characters are perfectly built as survivors who outlive their fate and the world as a whole. There is a reason why the entire audience was applauding at the end, up on their feet!"
Antra Zvirgzdina, lifestyle blogger
"Though it will lead you to an incomplete theatre catharsis the production is undeniably professional in terms of stage-directing and doesn't allow the tension to drop. There is a recurrent conflict between the leading characters but there are also many who are extremely vivid as well [...] It's a little surpising that all the women in this staging are either hypocritical old maids (Ratched), whores or prostitutes. There is even more to those two layers - the third plan gathers some senior actors and some very typical characters. The screens suggest that the action is taking place in modern times but details like the old-fashioned speakers or the daily duties bring you back to a reminiscent of older times [...] This show stays in the mind of the viewer at least for several days." ~ Rozentāls, A.
"Morfov breaks the myth that the Main stage of Dailes has a bad spirit and is impossible to fill with energy. Standing applause after a four-hour long show. A commendable teamwork [...]" ~ Adamaite, U.
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