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.
Joining Slater’s rebellious McMurphy and Alex (“E.R.”) Kingston’s cruel matriarch Nurse Ratched, are comedians Brendan Dempsey, Ian Coppinger and Owen O’Neil, who appeared in the show’s previous West End in 2004-05. The trio will reprise their performances as Chief Bromden, Martini and Dale respectively.
Gavin Robertson returns as Scanlon, Paul Ready takes on the tragic role of Billy Bibbitt and Alex Giannini (Journey’s End, The Graduate) plays the hapless Cheswick.
The show’s connections with comedy are strengthened by co-producer Nica Burns, who is also director of the Perrier Comedy Awards at the Edinburgh Festival, where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest premiered in 2004.
For the West End 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. Kingston replaces Frances Barber, who played Nurse Ratched during the production’s previous outing at the Gielgud.