October 14, 1957 |
|Notable work(s)||Rag Doll
Too Much Too Young
Through the Wire
|Notable award(s)||Bristol Old Vic/HTV Playwriting award
Thames Television Best Play award
UK Film Council script award
Catherine Johnson (born 14 October 1957) is a British playwright, producing works for stage and television. She is best known for her script for the musical Mamma Mia! and screenplay for the film of the same name, which became the highest grossing UK film of all time and the biggest selling UK DVD of all time in January 2009.
Johnson grew up in Wickwar near Wotton-under-Edge and attended Katharine Lady Berkeley's School in Wotton. She was expelled from school at 16, married at 18 and divorced by the age of 24. She moved to Bristol and finding herself unemployed and with one child to support and another on the way she spotted a notice in the local paper for the Bristol Old Vic/HTV West playwrighting competition. She wrote Rag Doll, using the pseudonym Maxwell Smart, a play about incest and child abuse, which won the competition and was staged by the Bristol Old Vic. Further plays for the Bush Theatre in London, Bristol Old Vic and Show of Strength followed along with work on television series including Casualty, Love Hurts and Byker Grove. Johnson lives in Bristol and also owns a house in Pimlico, London.
In 2007 Johnson instituted The Catherine Johnson Award for Best Play written by the five Pearson Playwrights' Scheme bursary winners from the previous year. Catherine won a bursary from the scheme in 1991. Catherine is a patron of the Wotton Electric Picture House in Wotton-under-Edge, Bristol's Myrtle Theatre Company  and Arts and Community in Thornbury.
- Rag Doll (Bristol Old Vic Studio) (Winner BOV/HTV Playwriting Award) 1988
- Boys Mean Business (Bush Theatre) 1989
- Dead Sheep (Bush Theatre) (Co-winner Thames TV Best Play Award) 1991
- Too Much Too Young (Bristol Old Vic and London Bubble) 1992
- Where’s Willy? (Bristol Old Vic) 1994
- Renegades (Bristol Old Vic) 1995
- Shang-a-Lang (Bush Theatre & tour) 1998
- Mamma Mia! (LittleStar) 1999
- Little Baby Nothing (Bush Theatre) 2003
- Through The Wire (Shell Connections, RNT) 2005
- Through The Wire (new version) (Myrtle Theatre, Bristol 2006)
- Trade It? (Show of Strength), Bristol 2008, contributor
- Suspension (Bristol Old Vic) 2009
- Casualty (Season 7, 1992, episodes 5 & 13) BBC
- Love Hurts (Season 2, episodes 5 & 7; Season 3 episodes 1, 2, 3, & 10) BBC
- Band of Gold (Series 3, episodes 5 & 6) Granada TV
- Byker Grove (Series 9) BBC
- Love in the 21st Century (episodes 2, 3 & 5) Channel 4
- Linda Green (episode 3) BBC
- Rag Doll (HTV)
- Just Like Eddie (HTV)
- Where’s Willy? (HTV)
- Sin Bin (BBC)
- Forget You Ever Had Children (Picture Palace/ITV) in production
- Dappers (pilot - in production) BBC
Her career accolades to date include the Bristol Old Vic/HTV Playwriting award (1987), and the Thames Television Writer-in-Residence and Best Play awards (1991) Mamma Mia! was also nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Musical (2000) and for a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical Book (2002). Catherine received the The UK Film Council script award at The Women in Film and TV 2008 Awards and also jointly with Judy Craymer and Phyllida Lloyd, The ITV achievement of the year award. Mamma Mia! (film) was named Best Musical at the UK National Film Awards in September 2008 and in December 2008 was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 2008. In January 2009 Mamma Mia! was nominated for the Outstanding British Film award at the BAFTA 62nd British Academy Film Awards.
- "Catherine Johnson". IMdB. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
- Irvine, Chris (2008-10-30). "Mamma Mia becomes highest grossing British film". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Staff writer (1 january 2009). "Mamma Mia tops all-time DVD charts". Daily Mirror (MGN). Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- "Gloucestershire cinema's Hollywood connection". Stroud Life. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- Billen, Andrew (February 21, 2009). "Catherine Johnson on Mamma Mia! and new play Suspension". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
- "Catherine Johnson interview". Crackerjack, Bristol Evening Post. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- Rollings, Grant (2008-07-02). "Mamma Miallionaire". The Sun (London). Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- "The Catherine Johnson Award for Best Play 2007" (MS Word). Finborough Theatre. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- Myrtle Theatre Company - Who We Are
- "Residents to take centre stage". Thornbury Gazette. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- Kennedy, Maev (1999-10-08). "Holiday camp comedy is no joke, says Butlins". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- "Mamma Mia!". Littlestar. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- Billington, Michael (2003-05-26). "Little Baby Nothing". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- "'They know how we talk!'". The Guardian (London). 2005-04-06. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- Marlowe, Sam (2008-06-27). "Trade It? at Bristol City Centre". TimesOnline (London). Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "Mamma Mia writer reveals new play". BBC Bristol. 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- Brien, Jeremy (4 March 2009). "The Stage / Reviews / Suspension". www.thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- "Casualty Files: Series 7". Holby TV. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- "Love Hurts". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- "Band of Gold". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- "Byker Grove". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- "Red Productions: Love in the 21st Century". Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- "Red Productions: Linda Green". Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- "Projects in Development". Picture Palace. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- Wakefield, Kate (16 February 2010). "Bristol writer Catherine Johnson on her new TV drama". BBC Bristol (BBC News). Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "BBC Three winter/spring 2010". BBC Press Office (BBC). Retrieved 2010-02-17.
- "Mamma Mia!". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- "The Women in Film and TV 2008 Awards". The Guardian (London). 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- "Mamma Mia! scoops two film awards". BBC News. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- "Nominations and Winners 2008". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- "Film Nominations in 2009 - Film - Awards - The BAFTA site". www.bafta.org. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- Ashley Coates interview with Catherine Johnson
- Johnson speaks about Mamma Mia, BBC Points West, 9 July 2008
- Theatre Voice Interview, Philip Fisher, 5 June 2008
- Catherine Johnson at doollee.com