The Aug. 7, 8 and 9 performances have been scratched due to Slater's bout with chicken pox. According to a statement, Slater "has developed a secondary infection and has been given strict instructions by his doctor to stay in bed for at least three days."
Nica Burns, producer of the production that is still set to transfer to London's Gielgud Theatre Sept. 3, said, "Christian has been an absolute hero. He got up from his sick bed yesterday and worked for an hour and a half. However, by the end of the afternoon he had developed a fever and was totally exhausted. This morning the doctor diagnosed a secondary infection, which in some adult cases can lead to pneumonia. Christian is therefore confined to bed and on penicillin. He was so keen to get back to work and to not let down the public that he returned to work too early and this relapse is the consequence. We are monitoring the situation daily. The company are all rooting for Christian and wishing him a speedy recovery so we can all get this fantastic show back on the road."
Those with tickets for the canceled performances have been asked not to call the box office. Ticket holders will be contacted and offered a refund or tickets for a different performance.
Slater plays the lead role of McMurphy, the part played by Jack Nicholson in the 1975 Milos Forman movie. Slater, whose film performances have been compared to Jack Nicholson, caught the virus from fellow cast member Felix Dexter, who was struck down in the second week of rehearsals. Dexter has since made a full recovery.
The illness hits the production after Terry Johnson stepped in as a last-minute replacement for director Guy Masterston, who left the show citing personal reasons.