Macrae’s first stint in pantomime drew criticism from many reviewers who accused him of abandoning his roots in ‘legitimate’ theatre. Although he had entered the world of variety entertainment, Macrae was able to switch effortlessly between dramatic and laugh-a-minute roles. He was described as a comedian of “remarkable parts”; his craggy features and gaunt and gawky frame initially drew comparisons to Tommy Lorne. His talent was indisputable but fellow performers often remarked on his annoying habit of cutting across lines with an ad lib. Macrae reached a wider audience with his television roles in ‘Para Handy’ and his Hogmanay performance of the song ‘The Wee Cock Sparra’. Here Macrae is depicted as the philosopher-poet Harry Magog, the hero of James Bridie’s play ‘Gog and Magog’.