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Beryl – West Yorkshire Playhouse

October 23, 2015 @ 7:30 PM


Maxine Peake’s charming and critically acclaimed play celebrates the life of Beryl Burton – the greatest woman on two wheels. Yorkshire woman Beryl Burton was five times world pursuit champion, thirteen times national champion, twice road-racing world champion and twelve times national champion. She was awarded an MBE and an OBE. She was one of the most astonishing sports people ever to have lived.

Beryl – A Romance on Two Wheels tells the story of Beryl’s life, from working on a rhubarb farm to becoming the best British cycling all-rounder for 25 consecutive years and, in 1967, setting a 12 hour timetrial which has not been broken to this day. She caught up with Britain’s fastest male cyclist while setting it and, legend has it, offered him a liquorice allsort as she sailed past.

Rebecca Gatward’s freewheeling production features four actors playing multiple roles while improvising with the oily tools at hand. Beryl herself – a woman who gives her absolute all, whether competing in East Germany or running the Hoover up the stairs; Charlie, her husband and soigneur, which is cyclist parlance for the bloke who trains, tinkers and hands out baby bottles of rice pudding along the route; and Denise, their daughter, who became a cycling champion in her own right. With just four talented performers & their bikes, Beryl evokes a sporting world before drugs and commercial sponsorship, a family pulling together against the odds, the admirable camaraderie and selflessness of the amateur cycling community and, at the centre of it all, one truly remarkable woman.

Target audience: Older audiences, women, mothers and daughters, cyclists and anyone who enjoys a strong story powerfully acted.

Maxine Peake’s compassionate homage…four stars. The Guardian Burton’s story … brought to theatrically inventive and comically freewheeling life. The Daily Telegraph

The excellent four-strong cast employ some entertaining stagecraft to enliven a good-natured piece directed by Rebecca
Gatward … brilliant moments …The character of Burton obviously resonates strongly with [Maxine] Peake – strong, female northern and working class – and the piece … offers a high quality local drama which clearly resonated with an appreciative hometown audience. The Independent


October 23, 2015
7:30 PM
Event Category:


Lund Village Hall
YO25 9TF United Kingdom + Google Map
01377 217776 or 01377 219598

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