Andrew Carnegie musical keeps it in the family as descendant takes starring role

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) – US steel manufacturer and philanthropist, born in Scotland. He endowed public libraries, education and researc

Andrew Carnegie’s great-great-great-grandson will play the Scottish businessman and philanthropist in a musical about his life when it is staged in his home town.

Joe Whiteman, a music teacher, is descended from Dunfermline-born Carnegie on his mother’s side.

The 28-year-old will reprise the role in Carnegie – The Star Spangled Scotchman, having first played the part at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2016.

Carnegie, who died in Massachusetts in 1919, is said to have given around 350 million dollars (£273 million) to charities, foundations, and universities- almost 90% of his fortune.

The show will have a two-night run at Carnegie Theatre in Dunfermline from May 17 next year.

It tells the story of Carnegie’s life from the viewpoint of a steelworker killed in the controversial homestead steel plant dispute of 1892 who has returned from the afterlife to decide on Carnegie’s eternal fate in the last two hours of his life.

The show was developed by Ian Hammond Brown, who won a development grant for it from Creative Scotland in 2013.

He said: “It’s a great opportunity to work with a fantastic cast again, a number of whom appeared in the Fringe production, as well as support the local community.

“It’s always been my dream to perform the show at the Carnegie Hall and it’s particularly poignant in 2019 as it’s the centenary year. Many thanks to Fife Cultural Trust for its support.”

Fife Cultural Trust donated the hire of the theatre free of charge as tribute to the legacy of Carnegie.