The first Cuckoo

Slater makes Fringe debut

The Edinburgh Fringe production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest has finally opened, with Christian Slater in the starring role.

Four performances of the show, which features a support cast of comedians, had to be cancelled after Slater contracted chicken pox and then a secondary infection.

But yesterday, ticket-holders greeted a ‘public dress rehearsal’ of the mental-asylum drama with a standing ovation.

Slater had spent less than two hours rehearsing with the cast in the last ten days before taking to the stage.

Producer Nica Burns told the Assembly Rooms audience: "He’s one of the most heroic actors that I’ve ever met."

Those involved in the play said it was a huge relief that it finally opened, especially since it had been losing an estimated £10,000 a day in lost ticket revenue.

Slater told The Scotsman: "I felt a fever, but it may have been the audience. To work with these people in Edinburgh right now it couldn’t be more thrilling. It was almost a healing experience after being so sick."

 "I love the crew, I love the play, I love the character, and most of all I love the audience. The audience was behind us 100 per cent."

The production also suffered problems before reaching Edinburgh, when director Guy Masterson pulled out, saying the stress was too much. He was replaced by Terry Johnson.

Among the cast are comics Stephen K Amos, Mackenzie Crook, Dave Johns, Owen O'Neill, Phil Nichol and Lucy Porter.

Published: 10 Aug 2004

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