William McGonagall was an awful poet, and he didnít let that stop him from writing. For these qualities he has been eulogized, most delightfully, by the Plagiarists. The Feast of Saint McGonagall is a real thing, apparently, practiced in Scotland. Itís a riff (this from the press kit) on a Burns Supper, wherein selections from the works of the poet Robert Burns are read along with the courses of the meal.
This Feast seems far more enjoyable. The Plagiarists have a fun show on their hands, and I would encourage them to continue doing it. Jessica Wright Buhaís script is dead-on: the perfect balance between enthusiastic mockery and admiration.
I do admire the guy. William McGonagall gave the pursuit of happiness his all. He wanted to be a poet, and before God and everyone, he went for it. Many would say his poems are awful, myself included. I was stunned to learn that every single piece in the show was actually written by McGonagall himself; it seemed impossible that one man could generate so much hilariously bad poetry. But, there it is. Despite vociferous protestations from all around him, he persisted. And, for that, he commands my respect. We should all be so brave.
The performance is great, with some really fine comic turns. I enjoyed it best when the ensemble was at its most raucous. The piece is constructed as a meeting of friends, gathered to enjoy a fine dinner and some good laughs, and itís good fun to watch things get chaotic. That said, itís enjoyable fare throughout, and a fine way to spend an evening. Lift a glass, wherever you are, to the dreamers of the world - to William McGonagall and the life of a poet.