Diana Morgan Estate
An actress, playwright and broadcaster, Diana Morgan was born in Wales, studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, and later married Robert MacDermot-Barber of the BBC.
Her first stage appearance was in a matinee of her own play Cindelectra at the Arts. In 1931 she appeared in the West End production of Noel Coward’s extravaganza Cavalcade at Drury Lane Theatre.
Amongst her 17 plays, Diana Morgan wrote the comedy Bats in the Belfry which ran at the Ambassadors theatre for 178 performances in 1937, This World of Ours (1935), The House in the Square (1940), Three Waltzes (1945), The White Eagles (1950), After My Fashion (in which she played the role of Chloe Gwynne; in New York produced as The Starcross Story, 1952), The Little Evenings (in which she played Mrs Pritchard for the Welsh National Theatre, 1970) and The Dark Stranger (1960) which was revived at the Kings Head Theatre, London. She also contributed sketches to many wartime revues including The Gate Revue, Swinging the Gate and Big Top.
She was contract writer for Ealing Studios and Sir Michael Balcon and later wrote for television. Her films include Run For Your Money (1949) and the children’s film Hand in Hand starring John Gregson and Sybil Thorndike, which won fourteen international awards.
Successful adaptations of other authors’ works include My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier; The Green Hat, a BBC adaptation of Michael Arlen’s famous 1924 novel; and The Secret Garden, for which she wrote the book and lyrics for a musical version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s classic. The musical was first presented at The King’s Head Theatre, London, 1987 and again in 1995, and has subsequently been successful in Poland and the Netherlands.