Alessandro Gassmann re-proposes ‘The cuckoo’s nest’ at the Umberto Room

The director of the work ‘revisited’ by the writer Maurizio de Giovanni, ‘indictment and lesson in civil commitment’

First the novel, then the film, then the theatrical transposition: the work has more lives and more authors ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’what time Alessandro Gassmann proposes on stage, until 13 November, at the Sala Umberto in Rome: first of all, the book of Ken Kesey published in 1962 after the writer had worked as a volunteer in a Californian psychiatric hospital, to tell through a delinquent who pretends to be mad to escape jail the life of the asylum patients and the treatments reserved for them; then, the theatrical reduction signed in 1971 by Dale Wasserman for Broadwaywhose stage adaptation was the basis of the screenplay of the homonymous film by Milos Forman interpreted by Jack Nicholsona milestone in the history of cinema.

In the reworking of the writer Maurizio de Giovannithe story is transported from the sixties in the USA to the eighties in Naples, or rather to be exact in the criminal asylum of Aversa in 1982, the year of Italy’s victory at the World Cup. Alessandro Gassmann he signs the direction of the opera, which sees a cast of a dozen actors, including the protagonist Daniele Russofor a text that, the director emphasizes, is intended to be “a lesson in civil commitment, a ruthless indictment against the methods of coercion and imposition adopted within asylums but also and above all an extraordinary metaphor on the relationship between the individual and constituted power, over the repressive mechanisms of society, over the conditioning of man by other men; a cry of denunciation that shakes consciences and makes us reflect “.

Explains Alessandro Gassmann in his director’s notes: “Illness, diversity, coercion, deprivation of freedom are themes that have always involved me and that I love to stage with my shows. ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. It all begins with the arrival of a new patient who must be ‘studied’ to determine whether his mental illness is real or simulated: his bravado, his irreverence and his spirit of rebellion against the rules that strictly govern life of the patients, it will bring confusion and disorder but at the same time its overwhelming charge of humanity will infect other patients and try to awaken in them the right to freely express their emotions and their desires “.

(from Enzo Bonaiuto)