Slater goes Cuckoo

Fringe's biggest star named

Christian Slater has been named as the Hollywood star headlining the Edinburgh Fringe production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

The actor will play rebellions mental patient Randall P McMurphy alongside a cast of comics, including The Office’s Mackenzie Crook.

Slater will also take the role to the West End once the run at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms is over.

He said: “I am thrilled to be making my West End and Edinburgh stage debut in this great American classic.

“I can’t wait to start working on this fantastic role with this amazing cast. It is great to be working again with Mackenzie Crook, with whom I have just made Churchill:The Hollywood Years.

The announcement ends weeks of speculation about the star of the show, with Cheers’ Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jnr also touted as possibilities. But Slater is an ideal choice, as his acting has often been compared to Jack Nicholson's, who starred in the Oscar-winning 1975 film of Cuckoo's Nest.

The cast also includes Frances Barber as Nurse Ratched as well as comics Stephen K Amos, Ian Coppinger, Katherine Jakeways, Dave Johns, Owen O'Neill, Felix Dexter, Phil Nichol, Lucy Porter and Lizzie Roper – many of whom appeared in last year’s Fringe hit 12 Angry Men.

Director Guy Masterson said "From an innocuous comment backstage at Twelve Angry Men in Edinburgh 2003, this is the realisation of a West End dream. To work with the likes of Christian Slater, Mackenzie Crook and Frances Barber is surely any director's wildest one come true.”

Slater, whose film roles include The Name of the Rose, Heathers and True Romance, has often returned to his Broadway root, recently, starring in Tony Award winning play Sideman.

On a recent visit to London, he spent a £6,000 in one night at strip club Sophisticats, taking six dancers into a private VIP room.

Published: 17 Jun 2004

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