Stuart Mungall

Stuart Robert Mungall was born on March 20th, 1940 in Forfar, Angus (Scotland) the son of a garage owner, he was born into a happy and comfortable home and was inspired to become an actor in 1955. ‘James Dean had just died in a car crash and I thought I could take over,’ he laughs. ‘So did about 700,000 other young men. I was so naive.’

After leaving the Bristol Old Vic in the Sixties, actress Joan Morrow moved to Scotland and the small theatre company that rehearsed that day in Edinburgh – and later fell in love with Stuart. Stuart Mungall sat in the almost empty auditorium of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and waited for the play to begin. It was late 1967, he had just joined a small theatre company in Scotland and had been asked if he’d like to watch rehearsals for A Christmas Carol.

‘A young woman came on stage,’ he recalls. ‘From the first second, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She had such a magic quality and aura.
I was totally hooked. It was love at first sight.’
The young woman was Joan Morrow, then 27. And to 28-year-old Stuart’s delight, she was cast alongside him in the company’s next production, Toad Of Toad Hall. ‘I was Weasel and she played Lucy Rabbit,’ he recalls with a laugh.
After a whirlwind courtship, the couple were married on May 11, 1968, with Joan’s close friend and successful young actress Jane Asher, then also famous as Paul McCartney’s girlfriend, as bridesmaid. Her wedding present was a Welsh dresser with several sunshine-yellow goblets.

Joan, who was 69 when she died, had Pick’s disease – a rare form of dementia similar to Alzheimer’s – and polymyalgia rheumatica, a debilitating condition that causes pain, stiffness and tenderness in the muscles supporting the neck, shoulders, hips and thighs. Stuart smothered his beloved, terminally ill wife with a pillow after watching her deteriorate both mentally and physically for six years.

Their friend Jane Asher wrote a letter pleading for clemency to an Old Bailey judge and it was instrumental in preventing Stuart, now 72, spending the rest of his life in prison after he admitted the manslaughter of his wife.

Past productions

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