Diana Morgan (screenwriter)

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Mary Diana Morgan Barbour
Born Mary Diana Morgan
(1908-05-29)29 May 1908
Cathedral Road, Cardiff, Wales, UK
Died 9 December 1996(1996-12-09) (aged 88)
Northwood, Middlesex, England, UK
Occupation playwright, screenwriter
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Robert MacDermot Barbour (1934-1964)
Children 1

Mary Diana Morgan (born 29 May 1908, Cardiff, Wales - d. 9 December 1996 in Northwood, Middlesex, England) was a Welsh playwright and screenwriter, mostly associated with her work for Ealing Studios as Diana Morgan. She was married to fellow screenwriter Robert MacDermot.

Career[edit]

Mary Diana Morgan was born in Cardiff, Wales on 29 May 1908. She studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She began her career in show business as an actress and chorus girl[1] and was on stage in 1931. On 8 September 1934, she married Robert MacDermot Barbour (b. 19 March 1910 in Poona, India), who would become Head of BBC TV Drama in 1948. They had a son Richard Morgan Derry MacDermot Barbour.[2]

After their marriage, they began writing as a partnership. Their early work was for the London stage and include a full revue in 1938 at the London Hippodrome, Black and Blue, starring Frances Day, Vic Oliver and Max Wall.[3] Impressed with their witty and satirical scripts Morgan and MacDermot were later hired by stage director Norman Marshall to write a stage show for Hermione Gingold. Although slow to begin the show was a great success, selling out for its eight-week run.

During World War Two, Dianne was instrumental in arranging for the up-and-coming actor Derek Bond a film test with Ealing Studios. This was to launch his post career, in ‘The Captive Heart’ (1946) and ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ (1947).[4]

Morgan and MacDermot would go on to write the stage shows, Lets Face It! (1939) and Swinging the Gate (1940) as well as many revues for the West End and the outlying club theatres. In the 1940s Morgan wrote several plays including a House in the Square (1940) and Rain before Seven (1949). During the decade Morgan made significant script contributions to several Ealing screenplays, for which she is now best known. A contract writer, her film work included Went the Day Well? (1942) and additional dialogue for A Run for Your Money (1949). In 1960 she scripted Philip Leacock's film Hand in Hand about a Roman Catholic child and his Jewish friend, for which she won several international awards.

Her television work included Emergency - Ward 10 and its spin-off Call Oxbridge 2000, while she also made contributions to radio and wrote two novels.

MacDermot died in London on 21 November 1964, while Morgan lived until 9 December 1996, and died in Northwood, Middlesex.

Notable stage work[edit]

  • Bats In The Belfry (1937)
  • Transatlantic Lullaby (1939)
  • Black & Blue Revue - Frances Day (1939)
  • Let's Face it! (1939)
  • A House in the Square (1940)
  • Three Waltzes (1945)
  • My Sex Right or Wrong (1947)
  • Swinging the Gate (1950)
  • Everyman (1952)
  • After my Fashion (1952)
  • The Starcross Story (1953)
  • I"ll Take the High Road... (1956)
  • Your Obedient Servant (1960)
  • Rain Before Seven (1960)
  • Time to Kill (1961)
  • Hand in Hand (1963)
  • Little evenings (1971)
  • My Cousin Rachel (1980) (based in the novel My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier)

Notable film work[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Davies et al, The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales, 2008,) p.500 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
  2. ^ Genealogy Data 
  3. ^ Adam Benedick Obituary: Diana Morgan, The Independent, 6 January 1997
  4. ^ Steady, Old Man! Don't You Know There's a War On, Derek Bond, (1990), Leo Cooper, London ISBN 0-85052-046-0 Page 101

External links[edit]