Hollywood blockbuster comes to Burpengary stage

Published 9:00am 19 August 2023

Hollywood blockbuster comes to Burpengary stage
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A classic Hollywood drama about a criminal who fakes insanity to serve his sentence in hospital rather than jail will be played out on the stage for theatre lovers in the City of Moreton Bay to enjoy this September.

Performers from Ghostlight Theatre Company will be putting their own spin on the classic story One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, with nine shows scheduled between September 8-23.

The shows will coincide with the play’s 60th anniversary, having been played across multiple stages and screens across the world.

Actress Izabela Wasilewska, who plays Nurse Ratched, says the entire cast has been putting everything into rehearsals to ensure they can deliver a great show for the community.

“Our first read through was on June 25 and we have been working three days a week since,” Izabela says.

“I am continually impressed at the talent of this incredible cast. We have 14 cast members, including two nurses, two aides, one doctor, eight patients and two… errr…. escorts – it’s a very busy asylum.

“We have all become firm friends and the collaborative process has been surprising and exciting.

“It’s gone really fast, and with only a few weeks until opening night, I’m starting to feel butterflies!”

The show is an adaptation by Dale Wasserman of Ken Kesey’s famous novel of the same name, which was first published in 1962.

Many people may be familiar with the story thanks to the 1975 film version which starred Jack Nicholson.

Illustrating the brutality of life in a mental institution with humour, honesty and an array of unforgettable characters, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is often considered to be one of the most gripping and meaningful plays of all time.

Randle P McMurphy thinks he can avoid jail by pretending to be mad and is transferred to a mental institution to serve out his time. While he ends up fitting in frighteningly well and begins to form deep bonds with some fellow patients, he finds a formidable enemy in the form of Nurse Ratched.

Izabela describes the play as a “conversation starter”.

“Our director Susan O’Toole Cridland has taken this story to a number of dark, spooky places even she wasn’t expecting when this project started,” Izabela explains.

“This show is unnerving, sometimes horrifying, sometimes funny and touching - and always a conversation starter.

“Ours is a modern retelling, and every artistic element of this production is impressive and of a superb standard.

“Audiences will be affected by this story long after it has finished.”

Izabella is hoping for a big turnout when the curtain rises, saying local theatre groups are an important part of any community.

“This is one of the most influential, important works ever made, and supporting local theatre is always a good idea,” Izabela says.

“KSP Theatre Inc always puts on a great night out, and the excitement surrounding this show is building.

“Cuckoo's Nest is one not to miss.”

Booking details

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest will be performed in nine shows at the KSP Theatre in Burpengary on September 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 22, and 23, including three matinees.

Tickets to the show are $25 each and can be purchased here.

The KSP Theatre is at 1-17 Maitland Rd, Burpengary.

For more information about Ghostlight Theatre Co, visit the website or follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

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