Ratched’s “Prequel” was Adapted for Philippine Theater

As we rejoice Filipino actor Jon Jon Briones’ turn as Dr. Richard Hanover in Ratched* on Netflix, Ryan Murphy’s prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, let us look back to the mid-80s when Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel was staged for two weeks in October at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Phils entitled Alitaptap sa Gabing Mailap.

Courtesy of Ricky Davao. L-R, top row: Pinky Amador, Jaime Fabregas, Joy Soler de Castro, George Titco, Jim Pebanco; middle row: Max Laurel, Ricky Davao, Ruben Balan; bottom row: Christopher de Leon, Joonee Gamboa, Ricky Hora

Writer-director Jose Javier Reyes did the adaptation and Joel Lamangan directed for Entertainment Phils. Christopher de Leon assumed the role of Randle now named Carandang, the Jack Nicholson part. Joy Soler de Castro played Nurse Ratched now Salvacion, the part that earned Louise Fletcher an Oscar. Max Laurel of Zuma-fame played the Native American Giant Chief Bromden, now Big Boy. Ricky Davao played inmate Junie who fell for Pinky Amador as psychology student Elvie and ended up violating her.

In a recent Messenger chat, Ricky told me it was Pinky’s first time to do such a scene. And he had to learn how to stutter for the part which was offered to him by Bibsy Carballo, his manager at that time, and the production’s line producer.

Rolly de Leon designed the two-storey set inspired by American neo-classical architecture; a display of power and confinement with its grilled french windows.

*Ratched interestingly premiered on Netflix Sept 18, a day after Kesey’s birthday who was born Sept 17, 1935. He would have been 85yo. He died on November 10, 2001.

Courtesy of Ricky Davao: souvenir program

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