An inspirational tour-de-force fuelled by northern grit, fierce determination and rhubarb, Oldham Coliseum's production of actress and writer Maxine Peake’s Beryl wheels into the town in May, before touring to Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and The Dukes, Lancaster.
Hopping on their bikes and playing multiple roles are Tori Burgess (Olivier Award nominated 2022), James Lewis, Charlie Ryan and Elizabeth Twells.
Beryl tells the true story of champion cyclist Beryl Burton, one of the most successful female athletes, who dominated cycling in the 1950s-1970s, becoming world pursuit champion, national pursuit champion, road racing world champion, national road racing champion, British record holder, world record holder, an MBE and an OBE in the process. Even more remarkable is that she did it all despite a heart condition that should have excluded her from strenuous activity.
Popular and famous actress Maxine Peake received Beryl’s autobiography as a gift and wondered why no one had written the story for the stage. So she turned it into her first stage play. Beryl began as a radio play starring the writer and was later adapted for the stage in 2014, premiering at Leeds Playhouse as the first bikes set off on the 2014 Tour de France through Yorkshire.
The Coliseum’s production runs in Oldham from May 7-May 21, then tours to Theatre by the Lake, Keswick (May 24-28) and The Dukes, Lancaster (June 7-11).