Catch Me If You Can says thriller star Patrick Duffy

catch me if you can
Patrick Duffy in Catch Me If You Can. Images Jack Merriman

Dallas legend Patrick Duffy and his partner Linda Purl have flown in from Hollywood to star alongside Gray O’ Brien in the edge-of-your-seat thriller Catch Me If You Can which is now touring the UK.

Catch Me If You Can, written by Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, and directed by Bob Tomson, is adapted from Robert Thomas’s French play Trap for a Lonely Man.

catch me if you can

Inspector Levine is called to a house in the remote Catskill mountains to investigate the disappearance of newly married Elizabeth Corban. 

But when Elizabeth suddenly turns up, her husband seems surprised – and this is only the beginning of a truly baffling train of events, in which nothing is what it seems and no-one is as they appear. 

Will this extraordinary sequence of surprising twists and turns lead to a murderous conclusion?

Patrick Duffy is known to everyone for his 12 years as Bobby Ewing in Dallas and, for older readers, as Mark Harris in TV’s Man from Atlantis. On stage, he played Serge in the award-winning West End production of Art. 

Duffy told Stage Review: “Catch Me If You Can is different from the type of plays I did during my theatrical training. I did all the traditional things. 

catch me if you can

“We went through medieval morality plays through to Shakespeare and the classics but I’ve never done one of these wonderful Agatha Christie-type whodunits before, where the plot isn’t solved almost until the curtain comes down. 

“It’s a great new rhythm for me to be in but it’s very similar, interestingly enough, to the sitcom world that I was in for seven years when I did Step by Step (for American TV) because everyone is telling one level of lie to the other person and the plot gets reconciled in the last few minutes. 

“And it’s great fun playing both sides of the character – the villain and the hero – until the audience finds out which side is the real one. 

“I’ve never done something like this in front of an audience, especially a British audience, in my life before.

“I play Daniel Corban, he’s one of the Mad Men. He’s from that era of advertising executives in the ‘60s, a womaniser, very good at what he does but at the expense of probably every relationship he’s ever been in. He’s Bobby Ewing with no morals.

“The play does present a few challenges for me. First of all it’s the rigours of it. I never leave the stage for the entire play and it’s exhausting but in an interesting way. 

“Physically I’m not as exhausted as I am mentally and vocally. So I have to marshal my forces and live like a monk for the duration of the run, but that’s OK because it all serves the play.

“My co-star is also my partner Linda.  We did a TV movie together last year which was after we’d fallen in love and were living with each other. 

“But this is the first time I’ve been on stage with her and it’s frightening because she is such a consummate stage actress”. 

Patrick and Linda got together over Zoom during lockdown and have been together for nearly two years.

“We got to know each other on such a deep level that when we did meet in person we were ready for this relationship.

catch me if you can

“I think we’d have been ready at any point but this way is perfect. We’re two old ponies in the show now and we blend together extremely well”.

Does he have a favourite role or show from his career?

“This sounds so trite but every one has been my favourite because they happened in sequence and always at the perfect time in my life. 

“My first big job was Man From Atlantis when I was 25 years old; I was in good shape so I played a superhero. 

“Then when I started Dallas it was much more what I had been trained to do on stage, playing the hero and the young leading man. 

“Not only that but I worked with a person who, on the first day of the read-through, became the best friend I think I’ve ever had, namely Larry Hagman. 

“Doing that show was 16 years of nothing but frivolity and fun. So each job in sequence has been the perfect next building block.

“I’m gonna get killed in America for saying this but British audiences are dedicated theatregoers. 

catch me if you can

“People in America tend to go to see plays and shows in places like New York, Los Angeles and maybe Chicago but it seems like everybody in the UK knows theatre. 

“They know ballet, they know opera, they know dramatic theatre, musicals and panto so they’re well-tuned to the theatre experience. They’re not going in on a learning curve and I find that really wonderful. 

“British audiences to me are the quintessential audience to play to or to play with, I should say.

“This is my first UK tour.I’m looking forward to travelling around the country, although this play is all time-consuming and as I say I’ll be living like a monk for 22 weeks. 

“I’ll go to the theatre, spend every ounce of juice I’ve got, then recuperate until it’s time to go to the theatre again. 

“I won’t get to do as much sightseeing as I’d like but the beauty is that we’re in a new town every week and we’re driving ourselves so we’ll get to see a lot of the countryside.

Tour Dates

05 April- 09 April, Milton Keynes Theatre

11 April- 16 April, Richmond Theatre

25 April- 30 April, The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

03 May- 07 May, Pomegranate Theatre Chesterfield

09 May- 14 May, Devonshire Park Eastbourne

16 May- 21 May, Theatre Royal Bath

23 May- 28 May, Cambridge Arts Theatre

06 June- 11 June, Grand Opera House, York

13 June- 18 June, Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford

20 June- 25 June, Churchill Theatre, Bromley

27 June – 02 July, Theatre Royal, Glasgow.

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