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Penilee in Wartime


Students' Ball

Strathclyde University Archives

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Students' Ball

Actor Duncan Macrae is clearly enjoying the company of the ladies in this photograph, taken at a students' ball at the Scottish College of Commerce in 1951.

One of Scotland's most versatile actors, Macrae was born in Glasgow to Highland parents. He first took a serious interest in drama while training to be a primary school teacher at Jordanhill College of Education. He joined The Curtain, Glasgow's leading amateur company, and won praise for his performance in the title role in Robert McLellan's Jamie the Saxt in 1937.

In 1943 Macrae turned professional, taking up a contract with the newly-established Citizens' Theatre Company. His reputation grew, as his repertoire ranged from the classics to comedy, on stage and on screen. In the theatre, he promoted Scottish drama throughout Scotland, performed regularly at the Edinburgh Festival, and still found time to appear with the leading actors of the day in London's West End.

Macrae's films include Whisky Galore and Tunes of Glory. He is also remembered for his portrayal of the captain of a disaster-prone Clyde puffer in the first series of the classic BBC television comedy Para Handy, and for his comic song The Wee Cock Sparra, first unveiled on the BBC Hogmanay show in 1959.

Reference: P4/178

Reproduced with the permission of Strathclyde University Archives

actors, amateur dramatics, cinema, Citizens' Theatre Company, comedy, Curtain, drama, Edinburgh Festival, fashions, films, Jamie the Saxt, Jordanhill College of Education, Para Handy, Scottish College of Commerce, students, teachers, television, Tunes of Glory, Wee Cock Sparra, Whisky Galore, women

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