#ThreeTwoOne quick fire questions Portybelle Book Blogger

#ThreeTwoOne quick fire questions Portybelle Book Blogger

May 27th 2024


1.     It tells the story of my five times great uncle, Charles Mackay, who is regarded by many as Scotland’s finest 19th century comedian and was also a great friend of Sir Walter Scott.

2.     It’s mostly set in the first half of the 19th century in Edinburgh’s Theatre Royal. Hardly anyone knows there was a Theatre Royal in an area called Shakespeare Square in Waterloo Place. It was there for nearly 100 years until the council slapped a compulsory purchase order on it and knocked it down to build a General Post Office. Now it’s been converted into offices and is called Waverleygate.

3.     When I was researching this story a theme emerged which struck me as being very relevant still today – the dilemma of  family tensions caused by sudden fame.

1.     Charles Mackay is a boisterous child who loves acting around and singing. His mother is his inspiration, and his heart is broken when she dies, leaving his father to raise him and his two brothers.    

2.     Charlotte O’Keefe, niece of a famous playwright, lives in London. She longs for the stage and grabs the first opportunity to join a theatre company, travels to Scotland, where she meets fellow actor Charles and they fall in love.


1.     To find the answer to the much-debated question: Who was The    Real Mackay?

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