One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Adapted by Dale Wasserman from the book by Ken Kesey. Directed by Helen Page

Performed on Thursday 17th June - Saturday 19th June 2010 at Pentyrch Village Hall


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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is set among the patients and workers in a mental institution.  It tells the story of an energetic con man who seeks institutionalization as a means of escaping the rigors of a prison work farm.  Before long, in order to reduce the sexual and emotional impotence of the men at the institution, he began to challenge the dictatorial Nurse Ratched, irrevocably altering the destiny of those in the ward.  The story is made up of series of skirmishes between McMurphy and Big Nurse Ratched.  McMurphy became a hero, changing the life of the inmates, but at what price…….?

Noda Review

The Story of Randle McMurphy & his time on the ward has been classically portrayed by Jack Nicholson & that image is not easy to overcome. However, Hilltop succeeded in transporting us from Pentyrch to the oppressive atmosphere of a "Therapeutic Community!". The moment the curtains opened we were transported to a seedy, un-loved institution. The set could have been taken directly from a local mental health institution & gave a real sense of oppression. The "inmates" appeared, aimlessly & all displaying classic, varying signs of mental distress. Each character was faultlessly depicted & it is hard to single out anyone from the close Knit & hard working cast. I was stunned by the range of behaviours & the way not a single person ever let anything drop. Billy Bibbit, played by Richard Jones was excellent & Dale Harding (Tim Driscoll) showed real feeling & despair. I spent the evening in silent fury at the unprofessional, uncaring attitude of all the staff who are the real source of misery for the patients. Nurse Ratched was wonderfully cruel & destructive & the incompetence & lack of awareness of Dr Spivey was matched by the Aides real enjoyments of their power. However, the real heart of the story comes from Randle McMurphy played by Dai Williams. His Brash Joie de vivre brought the stage alive & was the catalyst for so much change in the characters. Dai controlled the stage whenever he was there & the wonder scene at the end of the first Act where all the in-mates are united, supportive & engaged was tremendously strong. There were a few first night technical gremlins to tighten up, but these would easily be ironed out to provide a slick & deeply moving play. The characterisation was outstanding & Director Helen Page will undoubtedly be very proud of what she achieved. This was an excellent performance, by a well rehearsed & thoughtful cast. There were tears in the eyes of many at the end. Congratulations to all concerned.

Ruth Crowder  


Cast (in order of appearance)

"Chief" Bromden                                Mike Beavan

Aide Warren                                       Matthew Beavan

Aide Williams                                     Andreas Constantinou

Nurse Ratched                                   Tracey Richards

Nurse Flinn                                         Becky Church

Dale Harding                                      Tim Driscoll

Billy Bibbit                                           Richard Jones

Charles Cheswick                              Bill Pithers

Scanlon                                               Huw Williams

Martini                                                 Ian Jones

Ruckley                                               Martyn Lench

Randle P. McMurphy                         Dai Williams

Dr. John Spivey                                 George Atkins

Aide Turkle                                         Mark Pinches

Candy Starr                                        Fleur Greening

Sandra                                                Victoria Walters


Production Team 

Director/Producer                              Helen Page

Assistant Director/Producer             Rhys Stapleton,

General Assistant                              Jan Stapleton

Stage Manager                                  Wayne Brewer

Set Design/Construction                   Wayne Brewer, Llwyd Herniman, Rhys Stapleton

Wardrobe                                           Sue Gambarini

Backstage Support                           Members & Friends of Hilltop

Properties                                           Lynne Newbury

Sound Effects/Theme music            Dai Williams, Tim Driscoll

Continuity                                            Anne Morris

Business Manager                             Bob Petersen

Programme                                         Sue O Halloran

Marketing                                             Richard Jones

House Manager                                  Bob Petersen

Bar Manager                                       Iain Campbell, Ray Claridge

Front of House                                    Members and Friends of Hilltop

Box Office                                           Brenda Slaughter