Edinburgh Playhouse, until Sat 8 Dec
Starring in a soap opera can leave you typecast forever. So it’s testament to Craig McLachlan’s ability that in White Christmas he’s most definitely Bob Wallace, ex-soldier turned performer – and not Henry from Neighbours. He, along with ex-Dallas star, Ken Kercheval, Judy Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft and a strong cast of musical theatre actors takes us back in time to post-war America.
Set in Vermont, the show revolves around ex-general Kercheval, whose new job as an inn-keeper has left him drowning in debt. That is until two men from his former regiment, McClachlan and the superb Tim Flavin, turn up to save the day. Adapted from the Bing Crosby film of the same name, White Christmas is enthused with a ‘let’s do the show right here’ attitude. Love is found, lost and found again, friendships are put to the test, and festive spirit comes out on top.
There are some great show tunes here, especially the ones set to energetic tap dance routines. But given the 1950s setting, many of the jokes and references felt horribly dated. And with romance so high on the agenda, for a ‘family’ Christmas show there’s not a huge amount here for the younger generation to latch onto.