Jimmie MacGregor - A Gathering of Songs, Stories and Famous Folk

This perma-tanned, white-toothed Glaswegian folk powerhouse produced an evening of (very few) songs, details of his exploits with various celebrities and other anecdotes from his long and varied career. It was an indulgent look at a life and at times the show became a replica of that moment an over-eager acquaintance insists on showing you all 500 of their holiday snaps. That is, if he went on holiday with Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne: just two of the famous faces who cropped up. This was tailored to an audience of die-hard Jimmie fans, most of whom had probably followed his career since 1950, so it was fairly indulgent and nostalgic. Despite MacGregor’s no-nonsense delivery, the show quickly became unbearably misty-eyed.

Proving himself a bit of a polymath, not only did MacGregor forge a successful folk career spanning half a century: he also dabbles in pottery, produced shows for television and Radio Scotland, including ‘The West Highland Way’ and ‘MacGregor’s Gathering’. He was also awarded the MBE in 1994 for services to Scottish heritage and culture. Though undoubtedly very busy, as the slideshow showed he still found plenty of down time to hang out with celebrities.

While his anecdotes, which included giving Elizabeth ‘wee Lizzie’ Taylor a traditional metal Celtic brooch (as she stood dripping in diamonds) and reassuring the mighty John Wayne before an interview, were reasonably interesting in that they concerned famous people, it was difficult to shake the feeling that the show was little more than a dramatic reading of MacGregor’s autobiography.

Reviews by Laura Francis

theSpace on Niddry St

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★★
Traverse Theatre

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★★★
The Assembly Rooms

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★★
Pleasance Courtyard

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★★

The Blurb

Half of Jimmie MacGregor and Robin Hall, they toured the world, appeared weekly on the Tonight Show and hosted the White Heather Club. Jimmie’s stories with humour, songs and images.