Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Want To Play McGonagall in The Movie

A movie based on the life of William Topaz McGonagall (self described poet and tragedian) could be a great flick. He would be a blast to play. People paid to hear his recitations for the humor and generally bizarre content and delivery. Had he not had an intensely serious aspect, the humor would not be there.

It is suspected that he may have actually been putting people on, but there is little hint that he ever got caught out of character. One article I read suggested that he may have glorified people and ideas in a way that actually made the opposite case. He never showed any signs of not being very serious and sincere, but that made some of it even more farcical.

My favorite story about him is the one describing his first foray on stage. He managed to play the role of Macbeth but when he was supposed to be run through with a sword he refused to go down, wildly flailing about with his sword until the other actor finally tackled him to make him go down.

Other performances of Shakespearean characters involved him becoming so animated with sword play that all the others ran off the stage and even some in the orchestra sought refuge under chairs or ran to a safe distance.

His history and writings are hilarious. It is still hard to figure out if he was a totally sincere lunatic, or a genius. Times were tough and had he not been such an outrageous character no one would have paid for his entertainment.

I love the part about being in a play and deciding he didn't want his character to die without a real life fight.

His efforts to get the Queen to name him Poet Laureate involve more bizarre and hilarious adventure. Why no one has made this movie, I do not know, but it could be the best period piece to come out in many years, maybe ever.


  1. He was reincarnated as Andy Kaufman? Maybe there is a movie about him...

  2. I see the similarity there, however there is something not the same in the tone of the two. I wonder, but don't hope, if I may be McGonnagal reincarnated.


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