Edinburgh Playhouse, Mon 19 Nov–Sat 8 Dec
For 13 years he was JR’s arch enemy, but these days Ken Kercheval is more likely to have a song, rather than hate, in his heart. As Scotch-drinking oilman Cliff Barnes in Dallas, Kercheval became a household name. Long before he appeared on screen, however, the American actor was known for his musical theatre skills. At the age of 72, Kercheval is back treading the boards, starring in lavish new musical, White Christmas.
‘People ask me if Dallas was the highlight of my career, and it certainly was not,’ says Kercheval. ‘Because for me there’s nothing more exciting than standing backstage and hearing the overture start, and knowing at the end you’ll be out there with the audience – you don’t get that feedback with film or TV.’
A story of friendship, song and dance, White Christmas the musical takes the original Bing Crosby film and cranks it up a gear. Co-starring former Neighbours star, Craig McLachlan, and Judy Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft, the show has ‘feel good’ stamped all over it.
‘You see what’s going on in the world, and for two-and-a-half hours you’re transported away from it all,’ says Kercheval. ‘The show is ten times better than the film, and no matter what’s gone on in your day, you walk out with a really good feeling.’