Christian Slater to Return to West End for Cuckoo's Nest

News   Christian Slater to Return to West End for Cuckoo's Nest Hollywood actor Christian Slater is to reprise his performance in the stage version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

The revival of Dale Wasserman’s adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel will begin previews at the Garrick Theatre March 21, with an official opening night on March 28.

For the run, which is booking until June 3, Slater will once again take on the lead role of McMurphy, a small-time crook who is sent to a psychiatric hospital. The part was played by Jack Nicholson in the Oscar-winning 1975 Milos Forman movie.

A spokeswoman for the show told Playbill.com that auditions are currently being held for the roles of Nurse Ratched and Billy Bibbitt, as actors Frances Barber and Mackenzie Crook, who played the parts in the show's 2004-05 run at the Gielgud, are both unavailable.

In the run up to the production’s premiere at the 2004 Edinburgh Festival, the show was hit by a series of crises starting with an outbreak of chicken pox, which Slater caught from fellow cast member Felix Dexter. Prior to that, Terry Johnson stepped in as a last-minute replacement director after Guy Masterston quit the show citing personal reasons.

During rehearsals there were also reports of friction between Slater and other members of the cast with Barber quoted as saying, “I have never been involved in any rehearsal process quite like this. And, being diplomatic, that is all I am going to say.” The problems, however, were overcome and the production opened to critical acclaim running from Sept. 3-Jan. 1, 2005.

A scene from <i>One Flew Over the Cuckoo</i>
A scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo Photo by Geraint Lewis