Saturday, February 16th 1889  Dundee Advertiser

 

DUNDEE’S ONLY POET AT THE ROYAL CIRCUS

 

Last evening, at the Royal Circus, Nethergate, Mr McGonagall, the pilgrim of unattained ambitions to Balmoral, New York and London, was billed as the special attraction, and as usual the building was well filled to give a fitting reception to the tragedian.

 

The soliloquy of the Danish Prince in “Hamlet” was chosen as the medium of displaying the histrionic powers of the “poet” and even the capital ver8iety entertainment provided could not allay the impatience of the large audience to witness the “star turn.”

 

Some difficulty was experienced in providing an ‘inky cloak’ suitable to the ideas of the tragedian, but with the assistance of an intelligent property man a black waterproof thrown over his shoulder with the necessary abandon met with McGonagall’s approval.

 

Baron Zeigler, the lessee of the Circus, eloquently bespoke a patient hearing of five minutes for the ‘poet,’ and the audience seemed to have made up their minds to obey the baron’s desire.

 

The ‘poet’ then made his appearance and a too hasty youth immediately administered the baptism of fire.

 

The audience however, appeared willing to give the performer a hearing, and he proceeded, in a rather weak, but decidedly, in its way dramatic manner, with the infamous soliloquy.

 

When he came to the line, “or to take up arms against a sea of troubles,” the pent-up feelings of the “marksmen” of the audience were let loose, and the fusillade began. Decayed oranges, pots of jam, bags of flour, potatoes, and other missiles were aimed at the poet; but only one direct hit was made, when McGonagall, not reluctantly, left the stage amidst great applause and loud shouts for an encore.

 

It must be said that the performer showed considerable pluck, for he went through his short performance, unflinchingly, despite the formidable fire to which he was subjected.