Fourth Monkey have returned to The Fringe this year with three productions, of which I watched their adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on Sunday.
I had enjoyed their version of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis last year, so returned to theSpace on Niddry Street for this year’s show, which was equally strong. A mostly female cast adapts Kesey’s novel (with more nods to that than Milos Forman’s movie,) with a particularly vibrant performance by Lauren Young in the lead role of McMurphy. There are many gleefully acted comedy moments, but our gaze is not deflected from the underlying sadness of McMurphy’s eventual defeat in the wake of triumph.
Fourth Monkey is a company with high production values in acting, lighting and sound design; my only cavil is that I wish they would issue even the most basic programme or credits before or after the show; I am still none the wiser as to whose adaptation this was (and it was very good, hinting that the action was taking place in the present and in the UK,) and all the information I have about them has been gleaned from Internet searches. They deserve to blow their own trumpet a bit more.
theSpace on Niddry Street is happily unusual, as a hotel-based venue, in having banked seating and good air-conditioning – not the norm, but essential for comfort and good sight-lines.
The show runs until 24th August.