White Christmas: a festive musical opens at the theater despite the wave of Covid

By Laura Boyd and Calum Loudon

The curtain has been lifted on the stage version of the festive ‘White Christmas’ musical at the Edinburgh Playhouse – despite a wave of last-minute cancellations over Covid fears.

Irving Berlin’s stage version of the Christmas classic has finally opened for the 2021 holiday season, having initially been postponed to 2020.

The show opened with last-minute production changes to downplay Covid’s issues – with kissing removed from the script and actors asked to avoid touching each other.

The play, based on the 1954 film, revolves around four singers who put on a Christmas Eve performance in an effort to save a Vermont inn from financial ruin.

Actor Duncan Smith, who plays General Henry Waverly, said: “We’ve all been locked up for 18 months, so being called out and invited to do so is an absolute joy.

“Is it emotional enough to be on this stage knowing everything that is going on in terms of Christmas plans and you know things change?”

“Not all of us feel exactly safe, especially in these dark and gloomy times when everyone is nervous and scared.

“It’s a feeling to come together and just enjoy the company we have.

“It’s a beautiful, really beautiful story.

“It’s a safe atmosphere where you can come and enjoy the theater.

“So I urge you to come have fun and forget everything that is happening in the streets for a few hours. “

White Christmas takes place at the Edinburgh Playhouse until December 30.

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