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Beryl to return to West Yorkshire Playhouse

Maxine Peake’s critically-acclaimed play celebrating the Leeds cycling champion returns.

Returning to West Yorkshire Playhouse following a critically-acclaimed, sell-out run last summer is Beryl, which can be seen from 27th June to 18th July. This stage writing debut of actor Maxine Peake celebrating a Yorkshire woman’s cycle through life played to full houses and critical acclaim at the Playhouse in 2014.

Then in the autumn Beryl goes on the road, touring to theatres in Hull, Scarborough, Salford, Ipswich, Huddersfield, Chesterfield, Nottingham, Doncaster, Birmingham and rural venues throughout North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Shropshire, Cumbria and East Riding of Yorkshire.

Rebecca Gatward directs this play about the loves, trials and tribulations of the down-to-earth Yorkshire sporting heroine with Samantha Power in the title role of cycling champion Beryl Burton. The cast also features John Elkington, Dominic Gately and Rebecca Ryan.

Originally written for Radio 4 in 2012 and adapted for last year’s world premiere staging at the Playhouse, the play looks back at the extraordinary sporting achievements of the Leeds-born cyclist. It was 1954 when Beryl Charnock met keen cyclist Charlie Burton. In those days they cycled in clubs and once Beryl started she was smitten, not only with Charlie but by the thrill and freedom found on two wheels. Beryl was better than good, she was the best and determined to stay that way. Five times world pursuit champion, 13 times national champion and twice road-racing world champion, she was one of the most astonishing sports people ever to have lived whose down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach to life and to success is an inspiration to us all.

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Beryl’s daughter Denise Burton-Cole welcomes the revival of the play. “We are thrilled as it’s an outstanding play and it’s great that more people will see it,” she says.

Beryl is at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 27th June to 18th July 2015. To book tickets visit or call the box office 0113 213 7700.


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