In a press statement, Masterson cited “reasons of a personal nature and the stress induced by such” and “the demanding nature of this production.”
The show’s erstwhile director expressed confidence that the production will be “beautifully realized” and said that the part of RP McMurphy “might have been written” for Slater. Who will replace Masterson is now the subject of much speculation, and an announcement is expected shortly.
In his early career film star Christian Slater was often compared to Jack Nicholson, so his fans will relish the news that he’ll inherit the older actor’s legendary 1975 movie role as McMurphy in this stage production of Ken Kesey’s play. The actor may be making his Edinburgh and (expected in September) 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. Slater will have his turn from August 6 to 30 at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms. And, there are a couple more big names in the Cuckoo's cast, including Frances Barber and the co-star of TV hit “The Office,” Mackenzie Crook. Barber will play Nurse Ratched, Crook Billy Bibbitt.
The show will also feature 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. Tickets in Edinburgh are priced between £12 and £15. For further information, call (0)131 226 2428.