UWTSD Lecturer and graduate star in much anticipated production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


Dave Ainsworth, Programme Director of the BA Acting course at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is swapping the lecture theatre for the Torch Theatre as he prepares to star in its forthcoming production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  He’s also joined by UWTSD Acting graduate, Connor Allen who is part of the cast of this very special anniversary piece.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Directed by Peter Doran, the Torch Theatre Company’s production of this all-time favourite play will celebrate the Milford Haven based theatre’s 40th anniversary.  The play was first performed by the company back in 2002 when Dave was also part of the cast and he’s very much looking forward to returning to the piece fifteen years later.

Dale Wasserman’s adaptation of Ken Kesey’s classic American novel tells the story of institutional madness, where the mentally insane are drugged, electrocuted and lobotomised in order to enforce a chilling notion of sanity, one where obedience and conformity are the only acceptable indications of mental health.

Dave Ainsworth plays Ruckly, an inmate whose brain functioning was destroyed by a lobotomy. 

“It’s a very challenging role but it’s great to revisit a part that I played in the Torch’s original production many years ago,” says Dave, who as well as being a lecturer and actor is also a stand-up comedian and writer.

“It’s a small part but an integral one,” adds Dave.  “It’s a great lesson for us to be able to teach the students that there’s no such thing as a small part in a production.  I’m in the play throughout and am a key part of the team.”

Dave Ainsworth’s wealth of experience of working in theatre means that he’s able to teach what’s relevant and current, ensuring that his students are ready for the demands of the industry. 

“As an actor and Stand-up Comedian, I have performed all across the country and also ran three comedy clubs in the heart of London for a while. I have written many plays too that have been performed professionally, including Oh Hello that won a critics’ award as ‘Best play’ at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival; Greville’s Whore that toured last year and I’m currently writing a new show called Derek, the Prince of Wales,” continues Dave.  “It’s fantastic to be able to share my experiences of working on a variety of productions and in a range of genres with our students and to teach them about all aspects of the industry.”

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Along with fellow BA Acting lecturer, Lynne Seymour - who’s also a highly regarded actor and director - they are able to prepare students and to guide them during their studies as well throughout their careers.  Indeed, in this production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Dave is also having the opportunity to work with two recent UWTSD Performing Arts graduates.

“Another very special element of this production is that I also get to work with two of our graduates - Connor Allen, who’s acting alongside me and Joe Jones, who’s the Assistant Stage Manager on the production.

“It’s fantastic to work with both Connor and Joe and I feel very proud to be part of the same production.  It’s great to be able to work with them on a professional show and to see them putting what they learnt with us at UWTSD into practice as well as witnessing them grow and develop in their respective areas.”

Connor Allen is playing the role of Aide Warren in this production and having trained at UWTSD, he’s relishing the opportunity to be learning from his former lecturer once again.

“It’s really nice to be to be working with Dave on this fantastic production,” says Connor.  “He taught me so much when I was at UWTSD and he’s still teaching me now - it’s come full circle.

“It’s also great to be a part of such an amazing cast at one of Wales’ main producing theatres – it’s exciting and fun.”

Since graduating in 2013, Connor has played a range of roles with numerous companies – many with a link to UWTSD.

“The Summer I graduated, Dave encouraged me to audition for the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and I was lucky enough to be accepted.

“I then took a show to Edinburgh – a show that UWTSD supported - before getting a role with Taking Flight, whose artistic director had taught me Shakespeare during my studies.

“The first few years after graduating is really tough but I’m blessed to have a great support network that includes staff at UWTSD.  It’s great to now have the chance to be part of this brilliant production and to learn and grow more as a performer – especially learning from Dave again, someone who taught me so much when I was training,” adds Connor.

Described as being anarchic, mischievous and ruthlessly engaging, the Torch Theatre’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a play not to be missed.

The production will be at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven from Wednesday, October 11th until Saturday, October 28th.  The production contains strong language and mild adult themes and is not suitable for children. To book tickets, go to http://torchtheatre.co.uk/

To find out more about the BA Acting course, you can contact Dave directly by emailing d.ainsworth@uwtsd.ac.uk

Note to Editor

Picture credit: Drew Buckley

Further Information


For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies by emailing sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk / 01267 676908 / 07449 998476