Pieta House to benefit from staging of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Nicholas Naoise O'Beirn in rehearsals for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in which he plays Chief Bromden.
Nicholas Naoise O'Beirn in rehearsals for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in which he plays Chief Bromden.

A new amateur theatre company in Galway City has joined forces with the suicide-prevention charity, Pieta House West to stage the cult classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, at An Taibhdhearc this week.

Amigo Productions was created in February of this year by Paul Hughes and a group of like-minded theatre friends. Their aim was to set up a production company in Galway City to nurture burgeoning talent.

Amigo is now presenting one of the most poignant dramas of the 20th century, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the city’s at An Taibhdhearc – it’s running until this Saturday, November 12.

Chairman of Amigo Paul Hughes, who also directs the play, had read Ken Kesey’s book many years ago and fell in love with it. It’s best known for Milos Forman’s 1975 film adaptation which starred Jack Nicholson as McMurphy.

It was also adapted for stage, but despite being involved in amateur theatre for many years, Paul had never seen it produced.

HIs reason for choosing Pieta House West as the beneficiary of this production relates to a personal tragedy as Paul lost a close cousin to suicide. As a result, the work that Pieta House West is doing to raise awareness of issues around suicide, really struck a chord with him, as this is a tragedy that’s becoming more prevalent in our society, he says.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is set in a mental health asylum in the 1960s, and gives an insight into a world of brutal institutionalisation, stigma, self-harm and, ultimately, suicide. That’s why it makes a perfect fit for Pieta House, which is Ireland’s first community based centre for the intervention and prevention of self-harm and suicide, according to Paul.

Amigo committee members Nicky Lawless, Roisin Egenton, Chontelle Kenny, Iva Grillo, Michelle Lyons, Gail O’Dowd Maher, John Keane and Kevin Murphy have worked very hard to get this production to the stage.

The cast are phenomenally talented, says Paul, adding that’s it’s shaping up to be a magnificent production.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest will be staged in An Taibhdhearc, nightly at 8pm, at this Saturday. Tickets are €20/15 at an taibhdhearc.com or by phone at 091-563600.

All proceeds from this production will be donated to Pieta House West.