The show, originally directed by Guy Masterson (who withdrew for personal reasons), opens in a particularly busy West End fortnight, which also saw the opening of David Hare’s Stuff Happens, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White and Michael Feinstein’s one-man show (at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket).
Christian Slater, over the bout of chicken pox which impeded some performances in Scotland, and having also broken his hand during the run, is back and preparing to give London his McMurphy. In his early career film star Slater was often compared to Jack Nicholson, and now he's inherited the older actor’s legendary 1975 movie role in this stage production of Ken Kesey’s play. It may mark Slater’s London debut, but Slater has appeared on Broadway several times, from his 1980 debut in The Music Man to his 1998 stint in Side Man.
The last time the show was produced in London, at the Barbican Theatre, Gary Sinise played McMurphy. But there are a couple more big names in this Cuckoo's cast, including Frances Barber and the co-star of TV hit “The Office,” Mackenzie Crook. Barber plays nasty Nurse Ratched, Crook is Billy Bibbitt.
The cast also features Stephen K. Amos, David Calvitto, Ian Coppinger, Adrian Hope, Katherine Jakeways, Dave Johns, Owen O’Neill, Phil Nichol, Lucy Porter, Gavin Robertson and Lizzie Roper. Designs are by Katy Tuxford. Max Weitzenhoffer, Ian Lenegan and Nica Burns for Theatreshare produce. The show is booking until Dec. 4.