Timberlake grew up in the Basque country near Saint-Jean-de-Luz.  She has been Arts Council writer in residence with Shared Experience and the Thames Television writer in residence at the Royal Court.  She was the Royden B Davis visiting professor of drama at Georgetown University, Washington DC, 2005-2006, the Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Freud Museum in 2011 and is currently Chair in Playwriting at the University of East Anglia. She is the recipient of numerous awards including an Olivier award and the 1990 New York Drama Critics award for Our Country’s Good,the Writers’ Guild, Critics’ Circle and Susan Smith Blackburn awards for Three Birds Alighting on a Field and the Eileen Anderson Central TV Drama Award for The Love of the Nightingale.

Productions include: Jefferson's Garden (Watford Palace Theatre), The Ant and the Cicada (Royal Shakespeare Company); Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse); The Line (Arcola); Galileo’s Daughter (Bath Theatre Royal); Credible Witness, The Break of the Day, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, Our Country’s Good, The Grace of Mary Traverse, Abel’s Sister (Royal Court); The Ash Girl (Birmingham Rep); After Darwin (Hampstead Theatre); The Love of the Nightingale (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Translations include:  Britannicus (Wilton’s Music Hall); Phèdre (Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Ontario) Antigone (Southwark Playhouse); Hippolytus (Riverside Studios); Elektra, Hecuba (ACT, The Getty); Wild Orchids (Chichester Festival Theatre); Filumena (Peter Hall Company at the Picadilly) Jenufa (Arcola); Sophocles’s Theban Plays (Royal Shakespeare Company);Arianne Mnouchkine’s Mephisto (Royal Shakespeare Company);  Marivaux’s False Admissions and Successful Strategies (Shared Experience at the Lyric Hammersmith); La Dispute (BBC Radio 3)

Television/Film includes: The Children (starring Kim Novak and Ben Kingsley); Do Not Disturb (starring Frances Barber, Peter Capaldi).

Opera includes: The Love of the Nightingale (Sydney Opera House).

Radio includes: Dianeira; What is the Custom of your Grief?; The Memory of Gold;  Euripides’ Hecuba;  The H. File, from Ismail Kadare’s novel and an adaptation of AS Byatt’s Possession for Women’s Hour.