Hollywood star Christian Slater's British stage debut is under threat after the actor caught chicken pox from a fellow castmember.

The TRUE ROMANCE hunk, 34, was taken ill on Friday (30JUL04) during rehearsals of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in London after his co-star FELIX DEXTER was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease.

The play's producers are hopeful Slater and Dexter will recover in time for the show's opening at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival this Friday (06AUG04).

Producer NICA BURNS says, "Felix Dexter, a member of the cast, was struck down with chicken pox in the second week of rehearsal.

"We had hoped that the rest of the cast had escaped it, but on Friday Christian was taken ill and it is confirmed that he has it. Despite this, Christian and company are in fantastic spirits having had an inspiring week of rehearsal.

"Whilst Christian is recovering the cast continue to rehearse and will be arriving in Edinburgh next week."

After three weeks at Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms, the show will return to London in the West End's Gielgud Theatre.

01/08/2004 21:17