Trish Cooke writes scripts for theatre, TV, film, radio, and she is also a children’s author. As a playwright, Trish has been writer-in-residence at the Liverpool Playhouse, Albany Empire, and the Bush Theatre. Her first play, Back Street Mammy (published by Nick Hern Books, in First Run 2), was produced by Temba Theatre Company at the Lyric Hammersmith in 1989 and then by the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1991 followed by Running Dream (published by Aurora Press in Six Plays by Black and Asian Women Writers) which was performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1993, and Gulp Fiction in 1996. Between 2005 and 2017 Trish has written for Talawa Theatre Company and authored many five-star pantomimes for the Theatre Royal Stratford East, including Cinderella (2007/8), the first panto to be nominated for an Olivier award, and Rapunzel (2017/18), which broke all box-office records at the same theatre. In 2015 Trish’s short stage play, Left Hangin’ (published by Oberon Books in Black Lives, Black Words) was performed at the Bush Theatre, as part of the Black Lives, Black Words programme.
TV writing includes being a story liner for Emmerdale (Yorkshire Television, 2013); writing scripts for Doctors (BBC, 2004/5); Get Up, Stand Up (Ch4, 1997); Brothers and Sisters (BBC, 1996); The Real McCoy (BBC, 1994/5); and EastEnders (BBC, 1991). Trish has also written dramas for BBC radio, including the comedy drama Single Plus One (BBC Radio 4, 2000) and the mini-series Unspoken (BBC Radio 4, 2002). She was writer-in-residence at BBC North in 2002/2003.
A former Children’s TV presenter on Playdays (CBBC) between 1988 and 1996, Trish was also a scriptwriter on the programme and part of the original creative team for The Tweenies (CBBC) in 2001/2 and she has also worked on several children’s programmes at various stages of development both with the BBC and independent production companies. More recently Trish has written for Pop Paper City (LoveLove Films/ Aardman), Number 1 Newton Avenue (CBeebies) and JoJo and Gran Gran (CBeebies).
Trish is also the author of over twenty children’s books, including the multi-award-winning So Much (Walker Books) which she is adapting into a musical. The book So Much won the Smarties Book prize, the Kurt Maschler award, and The WHSmith and She Magazine award in 1994. In 2009, So Much was included in the National Strategy good practice publication on raising achievement of Caribbean children at foundation stage and in 2022 it was once again voted one of the 100 Best Children’s Books by Time Out. Trish’s latest books Zel, Let Out Your Hair, Jackson and the Hairstalk and The Puppet Who Wanted Hair, published in February 2021, (Woke Babies) were part of a campaign called ‘Hairy Tales’, to put Black protagonists and Black hair at the heart of traditional fairy tales. Her new book The Magic Callaloo is due to be published later this year with Walker Books.
Trish was the RLF Fellow at the University of Huddersfield from 2018 to 2021. Trish is on the Society of Authors Script Writing Group Committee; the Editorial Board of WritersMosaic; and patron for Alive & Kicking Theatre Company and she has been on the judging panel for various book and script awards, including ALCS Educational Writers’; the Imison Audio Drama and BAFTA Children & Young People.