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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at Seymour Centre

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by Jenny Hatton Mahon (subscribe)
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Crazy is all in the mind
one flew over the cuckoo's nest theatre sydney seymour centre
Photographer: Marya Rothe
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a brilliantly conceived story of one man against the system. Its mention conjures up the image of a crazy-eyed Jack Nicholson creating chaos and confusion among the patients and staff in a psychiatric ward.

The story is set in 1963 Oregon with reoffending criminal R.P. McMurphy being committed to a mental institution after serving a short sentence on a prison farm for statutory rape. Though not actually mentally ill, McMurphy manipulates the system to avoid hard labour and serve the rest of his sentence in what he believes will be a relaxed environment. Upon arriving at the psychiatric ward, he comes up against the passive-aggressive Nurse Ratched who subtly suppresses the actions of her patients. The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and steely Ratched soon affects all the ward's patients and chaos ensues.

one flew over the cuckoo's nest theatre sydney seymour centre
Photographer: Marya Rothe
Following Jack Nicholson's memorable portrayal as Randle P. McMurphy in the film, it's hard to imagine anyone else taking on the role and making it their own. But Anthony Gooley does just that with his portrayal of the complex and likeable McMurphy. Within minutes of stepping onto the stage, Randle's character forms an immediate intimacy and rapport with the audience, as do his inmates of the ward, played by a strong and commanding cast.

The Seymour Centre provides a perfect stage for the production, with the audience so close to the action they feel part of it. The stage design and lighting creates a sterile, yet disturbing, atmosphere which works with and doesn't detract from the electricity in the performances of the cast.

one flew over the cuckoo's nest theatre sydney seymour centre
Photographer: Marya Rothe
This is Australian independent theatre at its best and is a production that you shouldn't miss.

The season for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Seymour Centre is from August 3 to 19, 2017.
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*Jenny Hatton Mahon was invited as a guest
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Why? Because this is Australian theatre at its best
When: 3-19 August, 2017
Phone: 02 9351 7940
Where: Seymour Centre, Cnr Cleveland Street and City Road, Chippendale
Cost: See booking office for ticket prices
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