PREVIEW: Beryl @Rose Theatre, Kingston

Maxine Peake’s stage writing debut arrives at the Rose Theatre in Kingston from the 8th March to make its London premiere. 


Directed by Rebecca Gatward, Maxine Peake’s play looks at the life and career of Beryl Burton – the greatest female cyclist, who became five times world pursuit champion, 13 times national champion and twice road-racing world champion.

It tells the story of love, triumphs and trials of the down-to-earth Yorkshire cycling heroine, featuring Samantha Powell as Beryl, Rebecca Ryan, Dominic Gately and Lee Toomes.

Originally written for Radio 4 in 2012, Beryl opened at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2014, just as the Tour de France raced through Yorkshire. It was such a success that the decision was made to revive it and take it on tour before heading to the Rose Theatre in March.

When Beryl Charnock, met keen cyclist Charlie Burton she was smitten, not only with Charlie but by the thrill and freedom found on her bike. She would outwork the men in the rhubarb fields, she could outclass the cyclists on the road, and still find time to over-knit young Denise an enviable cycling jumper.

This revival of the play has been welcomed by Beryl’s daughter, Denise Burton-Cole who said as the news was announced: “We are thrilled as it’s an outstanding play and it’s great that more people will see it.”

Beryl will appear at the Rose Theatre in Kingston from the 8th to the 19th March 2016. 

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