A West Yorkshire Playhouse production: Beryl
Written by Maxine Peake
Director: Rebecca Gatward; Design: Naomi Dawson; Lighting Design: David Holmes; Sound Designer/Composer: Mic Pool
Saturday 26th September, 19:30, at St John’s, Sharow
Maxine Peake’s witty, charming and critically acclaimed play celebrates the life of unsung sporting legend Beryl Burton – the greatest woman on two wheels. The play was a sold out performance at the West Yorkshire Playhouse during 2014, returned by popular demand in 2015, and is now touring to venues throughout the UK.
When Beryl Charnock met keen cyclist Charlie Burton she was smitten, not only with Charlie but by the thrill and freedom she found on her bike. She would out-work the men in the rhubarb fields, she could out-class the cyclists on the road and still find time to knit young Denise a cycling jumper. With her husband, daughter and cycling club at her side, she became 5 times world pursuit champion, 13 times national pursuit champion and twice road-racing world champion – she was one of the most astonishing sports people ever.
Beryl Burton MBE, OBE, wife and mother, cycled her way into the record books becoming world and British record-holder and, with a determination to be the best, she always cycled home a hero.
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 Rebecca Ryan (Shameless).
‘Maxine Peake’s affectionate sprint through her life presents Burton as true Yorkshire grit’
★★★★ The Independent
‘Burton’s story….brought to theatrically inventive and comically freewheeling life’
‘the material is so perfectly designed to swell the heart and bring goosebumps to the skin’
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.
Online tickets: https://www.ruralarts.org/products/beryl-a-romance-on-two-wheels-2/
Samantha Power: Sue (Beryl & others)
Samantha trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her theatre work includes: Accrington Pals, Coming Around Again, Me, As a Penguin, It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Zack (Royal Exchange); Little Britain Live (UK and Australian Tour); Flint Street Nativity (Liverpool Playhouse); School Daze (Riverside Studios); It’s a Fine Bright Day Today (Oldham Coliseum); Raw, Kid (Theatre Absolute).
Television credits include: Coronation Street, Ordinary Lies, Holby, 4 O’Clock club, All at Sea, Shameless, Little Britain, Waterloo Road, The Cup, In With the Flynns, Doctors, Heartbeat, Twisted Tales, The Mimic, Prisoners Wives, Come Fly With Me, Moving On, New Street Law, Peak Practice, The Royal, A Prince Among Men.
Film credits: The Low Down and Mischief Night. Radio credits Porcelain, The Odd Job and Little Britain.
Rebecca Ryan: Jo (Young Beryl & others)
Theatre includes: Solace of the Road (Derby Theatre); A Taste of Honey (Hull Truck); Lost Monsters (Liverpool Everyman); Scarborough (Royal Court Theatre); Tommy (Manchester Palace theatre)
Television includes: Doctors (BBC), DCI Banks, Monroe, Casualty (BBC), Waterloo Road, Emmerdale (ITV), Shameless (Channel 4), Holby City (BBC) and State of Play (BBC).
Radio includes: Talking to Keith (BBC); The Testament of Jessie Lamb (BBC); Cottonopolis (BBC); Normal and Nat (BBC); The Swimming Pool (BBC).
Maxine Peake, Writer
One of the nation’s favourite actors, RADA trained Maxine Peake has had a prolific run of top quality dramas in recent years: See No Evil: The Moors Murders, Red Riding, The Devil’s Whore, Criminal Justice, Little Dorrit, Henry IV, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, BAFTA nominated dramas Silk, The Village, Room at the Top, Hancock & Joan, The Street and Shameless. She starred in features Private Peaceful, Run and Jump, Keeping Rosy, Svengali, The Theory of Everything and The Falling. Hamlet, filmed during the run at the Royal Exchange, was released in cinemas March 2015. She has performed at some of the most prestigious theatres in the country including The Cherry Orchard, The Relapse and Luther (The National Theatre), The Deep Blue Sea and Hamlet (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Mother Theresa is Dead (Royal Court), The Children’s Hour (Royal Exchange) and Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Haymarket/Royal Exchange).
It was only a matter of time until she concentrated her talents on script writing and started with her first radio play Beryl: A Love Story on Two Wheels, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and nominated for a Sony Radio Award. Beryl was adapted into a stage play, penned again by Peake, and produced at the West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ. Her second play, Queens of the Coal Age, was another hit for Radio 4.
Rebecca Gatward, Director
Rebecca is a freelance Theatre and Television Director. Her theatre work includes: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester, summer 2015); Beryl (West Yorkshire Playhouse) The Trial Of Dennis The Menace (Southbank Centre); The Comedy Of Errors, The Merchant Of Venice (Whatsonstage award nomination Best Shakespearean Production – Shakespeare’s Globe); Pandas (Traverse Theatre); The Indian Boy (RSC Complete Works Festival); The Canterbury Tales directed in partnership with Greg Doran and Jonathan Munby and Thyestes for The Other Place (RSC); Touched (Salisbury Playhouse); Cancer Tales (New Wolsey); The Accrington Pals (WYP).
Television credits include: Dani’s Castle (The Foundation); Sadie J (CBBC), Eastenders (winner Broadcast award and soap award nominations for best episode and scene); Casualty and Doctors for BBC.