CATHERINE JOHNSON (Screenplay by) is the award-winning British writer of the global smash Mamma Mia!, who has adapted the show for the screen. She is currently working on a commission for The National Theatre.
Johnson’s writing career began in 1987 when her first play, Rag Doll, won the inaugural Bristol Old Vic/HTV Playwrighting Award. Her next play, Boys Mean Business, won her the Pearson Writer in Residency at The Bush Theatre, London, and she subsequently won the Pearson Award for Best New Play for Dead Sheep.
For the next decade, Johnson continued to work extensively in theatre with plays such as Too Much Too Young (Bristol Old Vic and London Bubble) and Shang-A-Lang (The Bush Theatre and national tour), as well as writing the television film Sin Bin, creating the series Love in the 21st Century for Channel 4 and working on the long-running dramas Casualty and Love Hurts.
In 1997, producer Judy Craymer approached Johnson to create a new musical from the existing songs of ABBA. Mamma Mia! opened in the West End in April 1999 and has kept Johnson busy ever since, overseeing translations for the several foreign productions and revamping the text for North America and Australia.
Mamma Mia! was nominated for the Olivier Awards in London, followed by several Tony nominations on Broadway, including Best Book of a Musical.
Her most recent successes have been the stage play Little Baby Nothing (The Bush Theatre) and a book and lyrics for Through the Wire, a musical for young people (National Theatre Connections, Myrtle Theatre).
Johnson is deeply committed to encouraging new writing through her position as a patron of Myrtle Theatre (Bristol) and The Bush Theatre. She is also a panellist for the Pearson’s new writing bursaries and now sponsors their Best Play Award.
Johnson has two children, Huw and Myfi, and lives in Bristol with her husband, Michael.