Story by Jack Foley
OVER 11,000 theatre fans have named Hollywood actor, Christian
Slater, as best actor for One
Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, at the Theatregoers' Choice Awards
The popular star of films such as True
Romance and Windtalkers
emerged as the recipient of the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers'
Choice Awards for his riveting portrayal of RP McMurphy in the
West End version of Ken Kesey’s cult 1960s novel.
Commenting at a recent London press conference for Churchill:
The Hollywood Years, Slater said of his role in Cuckoo's
"Doing the play, initially I did have some trepidation about
it but I always wanted to come to the West End.
"It was a terrific opportunity to go to Edinburgh and be
a part of the theatre festival there. It is a wonderful play at
the end of the day, and a great role.
"What I ended up doing, at the suggestion of the director,
was not watching the Jack Nicholson movie at all. I focussed mainly
on the book and got a treasure trove of information from that.
"That made it possible to play
RP McMurphy as opposed to Jack Nicholson really."
The Theatregoers' Choice Awards were named at the same time as
the annual Critics' Circle Awards, which named Alan Bennett's
The History Boys as best new play.
The acclaimed production is set in a grammar school and is based
on Bennett's experience as a teacher. It stars Richard Griffiths,
who also won the best actor prize, and has been on at the National
Theatre since last May.
Popular musical, The
Producers, starring Nathan Lane and Lee Evans, was deservedly
named best musical, while Victoria Hamilton was best actress for
Suddenly Last Summer.
Festen's Rufus Norris was named best director, Rebecca
Lenkiewicz was most promising playwright, for The Night Season,
and Eddie Redmayne most promising newcomer for The Goat or,
Who is Sylvia?
Other notable Critics' Circle winners were Paul Rhys, who was
named best Shakespearean performer for Measure for Measure
at the National Theatre and Christopher Oram, who won the design
award for Suddenly Last Summer.
Both the Critics' Circle and Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice
award winners were announced on Tuesday, February 1, 2005.