Sugar In The Morning

By Donald Howarth
Directed by William Gaskill
Royal Court Theatre, London - Opened 9th April 1959 (28 performances)

  • Margaret Johnston ... Mrs Gabrielle Broadbent
    John Fraser ... Kendrick
    Peter Wood ... Kevin Broadbent
    Toke Townley ... Tubbs
    Jeanne Watts ... Lena Watts
    Frank Finlay ... Eric Watts
    Anne Bishop ... Anne Clegg
    Irvin Allen ... Northern Clement Gentles
    Ray Smith ... John Clegg
    Hilda Barry ... Granny Sil

  • Margaret Johnston (10 August 1914 - 19 June 2002) was born in Sydney, New South Wales and trained for the stage at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art - RADA and made her West End debut in Saloon Bar (1939) at the Wyndham Theatre. Johnston was a highly versatile actress appearing in many films and TV shows but it was in the theatre, both commercial and classical, that her reputation was forged.

    In The Dark Is Light Enough (1954) one critic wrote of her:
    "As the pale shade of a more radiant mother, Margaret Johnston shines in a tremulous light of her own, the light of affirmation, like a vibrato on an air played by the violin."
    Johnston had a strong screen career appearing in twelve films. Her debut was The Prime Minister starring John Gielgud, this was followed by The Rake's Progress (1945) with Rex Harrison. She played the spinster sister who succumbs to the Latin charm of the major-domo in A Man About The House (1947) and one of her best known roles was in the adaptation of Francis Brett Young's novel Portrait of Clare (1950). The following year brought her most high-profile screen appearance, as Robert Donat's long-suffering second wife in the star-studded The Magic Box (1951). Other films included; Touch and Go (1954), Night of the Eagle (1962), Life at the Top (1965), and The Psychopath (1966).

    In 1946, Maggie - as she was known - married Albert Parker, an American film director who had moved to Britain in the early 1930s. Al had directed several British films before establishing the very successful theatrical agency Al Parker Ltd.

    Al was 27 years older than Maggie and in the mid 1960's when his health began to decline Maggie stepped in to help run the agency. After an appearance in the film Sebastian she retired from acting in order to run the agency full time, which she did very successfully for the next 30 years. Her many clients included the great James Mason, Helen Mirren, Barry Foster and of course Frank Finlay.

    You can read more about Margaret Johnston here - The very versatile Margaret Johnston (1914-2002)