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Go, feel and think.


I missed a lot of theater where you can sit and be but after you reflect and re-reflect. This is the case with Flight over a Cuckoo's Nest at the Teatr Polski in Wroclaw. Go, feel and think.

We all know about Milos Forman's brilliant film on freedom, few of us know that it was based on a book by Ken Kesey that Time magazine included in its list of 100 Best English-Language Novels from 1923 to 2005. We all know the plot, so I'd rather not focus on it, be aware because Cezary Iber makes it surprisingly fresh. Everything is white, sterile and clean. His vision is hardly realistic (he has in fact never been in a real mental institution) but depending on his vision, the absence of strong characters of craziness and their exceptional characteristics could distract the viewer from the main subject. Too many episodes could destroy the plot, and it's impossible to disagree with it, even though there is still a great shortage of untapped situations.

Let's focus on the characters: first McMurphy (Piort Lukaszczyk) - a brave but a very selfish man. Lukaszczyk's McMurphy wants to shine, he wants to give life, he wants to bring a different point of view, to show the madness of a given situation in the hospital, but he is also very self-centered. For him it's fun, an innocent gush to feel better, but he doesn't realize that the people he inspires are much weaker than him, they don't have the tools, they don't have the resistance to follow the path that is so tempting for them. They do not measure their strength on their yearnings of the heart, and McMurphy does not take responsibility for them, he does not accompany them, he lacks empathy, he cannot put himself in their shoes. This McMurphy is bad. And interesting.

Sister Ratched (Paulina Chapko) is evil, obviously. In this interpretation, she is only an intermediary of principles, there is no evil force in it, but rather an insistence on the principles in which one feels safe creating them. She is not the embodiment of evil, but its messenger.

The third general character is the other hospitalized patients, with their weaknesses, their desires, all with great pain. Among them, a particular applause for Bartosz Bulawa as Billy (he joined the theater team in January of this year and I absolutely can't wait to see him in other creations), he played that role more that fantastically, revealing male sensibility in an amazing way. A slight disappointment was for me "Chief" and the ending - too schmalzy for my taste. Instead of strong character (he should be strong firstly in his ignorance and then to set free his friend and himself) I saw a puppet, a posture with no character at all.

It's a piece for laughs, crying and thinking, the incredible choreographic moment of Billy and Candy (Aleksandra Chapko - private sister of Sister Ratched) is breathtaking and so intimate in all the chaos that would not only blow your mind but your heart. There is anxiety, a problem with the authorities where society decides who is crazy (based on what?). You would feel something watching that, wondering if the world only belongs to the strongest. Why don't the authorities laugh when the rest do? Wouldn't following rules drive us all crazy?

Photo : Teatr Polski

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From This Author Natalia Jarczynska