A play that explores the boundaries between conformism and individuality, sanity and madness.

Time magazine rated Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as one of the 100 Best English language novels from 1923 to 2005. A year after it was published, it was adapted for Broadway by Dale Wasserman and later made into an award-winning film by by Miloš Forman. As recently as 2006, the highly acclaimed Artist’s Repertory Theatre (ART), then a newly formed community theatre group in California, performed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as part of its Spring Season. Closer to home, it was first performed in Bangalore in 1982.

Thirty years on, Wasserman’s adapted version will feature in Bangalore again at the The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Fest this month. Jagriti Theatre will then host 11 more shows. Jagriti’s artistic director and stage artist Arundhati Raja says, “What could be more appropriate to open the Jagriti Season 2012 than with this revival of a play performed 30 years ago by Jagriti’s resident theatre company? This play showcases a titanic battle of wills and will move one to laughter and tears”.

In the 1982 version, Jagdish Raja played Randle P. McMurphy and Malu Gazdar donned the role of Nurse Ratched. This latest production has Rajeev Ravindranath and Nakul Bhalla (in the later shows) playing the part of McMurphy and features Veena Sajnani as Nurse Ratched.

The original story by Kesey was replete with themes of radical rebellion against the 1960s establishment. Randle P. McMurphy opts for a term in a psychiatric hospital to evade a prison term and falls into the clutches of the tyrannical Nurse Ratched who has a penchant for doling out electro shock therapy. The boisterous McMurphy disrupts her ordered domain and entertains other patients in the hospital. As the play unravels, audiences will be bound to ask if prison would have been better for McMurphy. The production is a gripping tale of the clash between two strong-willed individuals.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Where: Chowdiah Memorial Hall; Jagriti Theatre, Bangalore

When: August 24; August 25-September 2