Winsome Pinnock

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Winsome Pinnock (born 1961) is an award-winning British playwright of Jamaican heritage, who is "probably Britain's most well known black female playwright".[1]


Winsome Pinnock was born in Islington, North London, to parents who were both migrants from Smithville, Jamaica. Her mother was a cleaner and her father a checker at Smithfield Meat Market. Pinnock attended Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Comprehensive Girls' School (formerly Starcross School) in Islington and graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London (1979–82), with a BA (Joint Honours) in English and Drama and from Birkbeck, University of London (1983), with an MA in Modern Literature in English.[2]

Pinnock's award-winning plays include The Wind of Change (Half Moon Theatre, 1987), Leave Taking (Liverpool Playhouse Studio and National Theatre, 1988), Picture Palace (commissioned by the Women's Theatre Group, 1988),[3] A Hero's Welcome (Women's Playhouse Trust at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 1989), A Rock in Water (Royal Court Young People's Theatre at the Theatre Upstairs, 1989; inspired by the life of Claudia Jones),[4] Talking in Tongues (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 1991), Mules (Clean Break Theatre Company, 1996) and One Under (Tricycle Theatre, 2005).[5]

Pinnock has been Visiting Lecturer at Royal Holloway College, and Senior Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. She lectures at Kingston University, London.[2] Whilst at university, she continues her inspirational teachings and informed opinions through the use of intelligent and inimitable methods. Students have described her as: "A fantastic writer who is a pleasure to work with."


  • 1991 George Devine Award
  • Unity Theatre Trust Award
  • Pearson Plays on Stage Award For Best Play of the Year

Selected works[edit]

  • The Winds Of Change, Half Moon Theatre, London, 1987.
  • Leave Taking, Playhouse, Liverpool, and National Theatre, 1988.
  • Picture Palace, Women's Theatre Group, London, 1988.
  • A Rock In Water, Royal Court Young People's Theatre at the Theatre Upstairs, London, 1989. Published in Black Plays: 2, ed. Yvonne Brewster, London: Methuen Drama, 1989.
  • A Hero's Welcome, Women's Playhouse Trust at the Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court Theatre, London, 1989.
  • Talking In Tongues, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London, 1991. Published in The Methuen Drama Book of Plays by Black British Writers, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2011, ISBN 978-1408131244
  • Mules, Clean Break Theatre Company, Royal Court Theatre, London, 1996
  • Untitled, Cottesloe Theatre, National Theatre, London, 1999
  • Water, Tricycle Theatre, London, 2000.
  • One Under, Tricycle Theatre, London, 2005.
  • IDP, Tricycle Theatre, London, 2006[6]
  • Taken, Soho Theatre, London, 2010.
  • Her Father's Daughter, BBC Radio 4.
  • The Dinner Party, BBC Radio 4.
  • Lazarus, BBC Radio 3, 2013.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Lynette Goddard, "West Indies vs England in Winsome Pinnock's Migration narratives", Contemporary Theatre Review, Volume 14, Issue 4, 2004, pp. 23-33. DOI:10.1080/10486800412331296291
  2. ^ a b Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University London.
  3. ^ Elaine Aston (2003). Feminist Views on the English Stage: Women Playwrights, 1990-2000. Cambridge University Press. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-521-80003-7. 
  4. ^ D. Keith Peacock, "Chapter 9: So People Know We're Here: Black Theatre in Britain" in Thatcher's Theatre: British Theatre and Drama in the Eighties, Greenwood Press, 1999, p. 179.
  5. ^ "Winsome Pinnock", Drama Online.
  6. ^ Winsome Pinnock page at


External links[edit]