One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1963) is a play based on Ken Kesey's 1962 novel of the same name. Dale Wasserman's stage adaptation, with music by Teiji Ito, made its Broadway preview on November 12, 1963, its premiere on November 13, and ran until January 25, 1964 for a total of one preview and 82 performances.Since then, the play has had two revivals: first off-Broadway in 1971, with Danny DeVito as Martini, then as a Broadway production in 2001 with Gary Sinise as McMurphy.
A film version released in 1975 was based on the novel, but not on the play.
The 1963-1964 Broadway production starred Kirk Douglas as Randle Patrick McMurphy, Gene Wilder as Billy Bibbit, William Daniels as Harding and Ed Ames as "Chief" Bromden. Douglas retained the rights to make a movie version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for a decade, but was unable to find a studio willing to make it with him. Eventually, he gave the rights to his son Michael, who succeeded in getting the movie produced.
At that time, Kirk Douglas was deemed too old for the role of McMurphy, and the role was given to Jack Nicholson.In April 1988, the Playhouse Theatre was the site for the first London production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The play was brought to the London stage by Cuckoo Productions, formed by Diane Hilton, Karin Parnaby, and Judy Kershaw. They raised £100,000 in 24 hours to bring the play to the London theatre.In 2001, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company produced a Broadway revival, winning the Tony Award for Best Play Revival. This production was directed by Terry Kinney and starred Gary Sinise, Amy Morton,Tim Sampson, Eric Johner, and Ross Lehman.
A production of the play was staged by London's Tower Theatre Company 23-27 October 2012 Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate, London.