ER Kingston Gets West End Debut in Slater’s NestDate: 17 February 2006
Alex Kingston (pictured) - best known internationally for her role as Dr Elizabeth Corday in US television series ER - will don another hospital uniform to make her West End debut as Nurse Ratched alongside Christian Slater in the return of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (See News, 15 Feb 2006).
Terry Johnson and Tamara Harvey’s revival of Dale Wasserman’s play - based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey, which was subsequently made into a film starring Jack Nicholson - originally opened in August 2004 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before transferring to the West End’s Gielgud Theatre, where the run extended to 1 January 2005, and won two Whatsonstage.com Awards, Best Actor in a Play for Slater and Best Play Revival.
It returns next month to the West End, now at the Garrick Theatre, where it will have a strictly limited season from 21 March to 3 June 2006, with Slater reprising his role as rebel Randle P McMurray, the newest arrival on the mental ward ruled with an iron hand by Kingston’s Nurse Ratched (the part previously played in the West End by Frances Barber).
Kingston, the ex-wife of Ralph Fiennes, had her first professional acting job at 15, playing a bully on the British TV series Grange Hill. She trained at RADA before joining the Birmingham Repertory company, followed by the Royal Shakespeare Company where she performed in productions of Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Love's Labours Lost, The Curse of The Starving Class and The Bright and Bold Design.
She made her film debut in Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989). Her other film roles include Croupier, Alpha Dog and Wedding Photo. Kingston made her mark on British screens by staring in The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders and Crocodile Shoes.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is produced by Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer for Nimax Theatres and Ian Lenagan. No further casting has yet been confirmed. Currently at the Garrick, Peter Hall’s revival of George Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell, starring Diana Quick and Edward Fox, is due to run until 11 March 2006. It opened on 7 November 2005 (previews from 25 October).
Commenting today on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest’s London return, Nica Burns said: “We are reviving this terrific production by Terry Johnson and Tamara Harvey because of the fantastic response we received when it was first produced in the West End. Audiences loved it and we sold night after night. Max Weitzenhoffer and I are delighted to be producing this in our own theatre alongside Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which we are also co-producing in a Nimax theatre."
- by Caroline Ansdell