CHILDREN, parents and grandparents in Bradford are to have the opportunity to take part in a series of interactive shows celebrating Windrush Day.

In the two weeks leading up to the occasion on Saturday June 22, and on the day itself, Trish Cooke and Martin Riley from Leeds-based Alive & Kicking Theatre Company will be taking two storytelling shows ‘Eh Kwik, Eh Kwak’ and ‘This is My Story’ into education and community venues in Bradford.

Bradford-born Trish is an Olivier-nominated playwright, multi award-winning children’s book author and former Children’s BBC TV presenter. The former Buttershaw Upper School pupil has had 20 children’s books published, including the popular So Much and Tales from the Caribbean, a collection of favourite tales gathered from the many different islands of the Caribbean.

To mark Windrush Day and the days leading up to it Trish - supported by BAFTA nominated, writer, performer and storyteller Martin - has created two storytelling shows.

“In Eh Kwik, Eh Kwak, we investigate the importance of being yourself and how trying to fit in by being something you’re not can get you in a mess,” she says. “This is an interactive retelling of a traditional Caribbean tale ‘Why Agouti Has No Tail’, for seven to nine-year-olds, their parents and grandparents. It will be performed at ten Bradford primary schools during the school day.

The second, ‘This is My Story’, is a show for adults and children and will be performed in a community venue in Bradford. Here, Trish - whose parents are from Dominica in the West Indies - shares excerpts of her books ‘Tales from The Caribbean’, ‘Mammy Sugar Falling Down’ and ‘The Diary of a Young West Indian Immigrant’.

The latter books tell what it was like to travel, as a child, from the Caribbean to live in England in the late 1950s and 60s. The show will be followed by a panel and audience intergenerational discussion, which will encourage audience members to share their Windrush stories.

Staging the shows has been made possible thanks to a successful bid for funding from the Government’s £500,000 Windrush Day Grant Scheme to support communities.

Over the coming months 50 community groups and local authorities across the country will use the funding to lead school projects, street parties, exhibitions, talks and workshops to recognise and honour the legacy of those who stepped ashore at Tilbury Docks more than 70 years ago.

Says Trish: “I’ll be working in Bradford with Alive & Kicking to create something to educate, commemorate and celebrate the outstanding contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.

“Both events are interactive and immersive. In primary schools the whole morning will be spent with myself and Martin, helping the children, their families and their teachers to make some of the props that will be used and exploring together ways to bring the tale to life.

“In the community venue, after the performance, there will be refreshments provided and an opportunity for friends old and new to share memories and open up an intergenerational dialogue in celebration of Windrush.”

Communities Minister, Lord Bourne has said: “Many congratulations to the successful bidders. The standard and range of bids has been very high, demonstrating a real enthusiasm to mark Windrush Day.

“I look forward to seeing the fantastic events and schemes they put on and encourage communities across the country to take part and celebrate Windrush Day 2019."

For information and booking details contact: John Mee on 0113 295 8190, or 07775 782603. Also visit aliveandkicking@ntlworld.com; aliveandkickingtheatrecompany.co.uk.