One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (play)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Kirk Douglas and Joan Tetzel starring in the 1963 Broadway production
Written by Dale Wasserman
Date premiered November 13, 1963 (1963-11-13)
Place premiered Cort Theatre
New York City
Original language English
Subject One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1963) is a play based on Ken Kesey's 1962 novel of the same name.[1]

Dale Wasserman's stage adaptation, with music by Teiji Ito, made its Broadway preview on November 12, 1963, its premiere on November 13, and ran until January 25, 1964 for a total of one preview and 82 performances.[1] Since then, the play has had two revivals: first off-Broadway in 1971, with Danny DeVito as Martini, then as a Broadway production in 2001 with Gary Sinise as McMurphy. The film version One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was released in 1975 was based on the novel, but not on the play.[2] DeVito reprised his stage role in the film.

The 1963–64 Broadway production starred Kirk Douglas as Randle Patrick McMurphy, Gene Wilder as Billy Bibbit, William Daniels as Harding, Ed Ames as "Chief" Bromden, and Joan Tetzel at Nurse Ratched. Douglas retained the rights to make a film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for a decade, but was unable to find a studio willing to make it with him. Eventually, he gave the rights to his son Michael, who succeeded in getting the film produced. At that time, Kirk Douglas was deemed too old for the role of McMurphy, and the role was given to Jack Nicholson.

A scene from a Bashkir Academic Drama Theater's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

In 1982 Greg Hersov directed a production at the Royal Exchange, Manchester with Jonathan Hackett as Randle McMurphy, Linda Marlowe as Nurse Ratched and Tim McInnerny as Billy Bibbitt.

In April 1988, the Playhouse Theatre was the site for the first London production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The play was brought to the London stage by Cuckoo Productions, formed by Diane Hilton, Karin Parnaby, and Judy Kershaw. They raised £100,000 in 24 hours to bring the play to the London theatre.

In 2001, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company produced a Broadway revival, winning the Tony Award for Best Play Revival. This production was directed by Terry Kinney and starred Gary Sinise, Amy Morton, Tim Sampson, Eric Johner, and Ross Lehman.

A production of the play was staged by London's Tower Theatre Company 23–27 October 2012 Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate, London.[3]

See also


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