Continuing an exciting season at Oldham Coliseum is Beryl, a critically acclaimed show written by the award-winning actress Maxine Peake. Beryl tells the extraordinary tale of one of the world’s greatest unsung sporting heroes, Beryl Burton.
Directed by Chris Lawson, this inspirational and remarkable true story about the champion cyclist speeds to life on the Oldham Coliseum stage this May.
Discover how Beryl Burton became a record-breaking world champion and a cycling legend.
After falling ill as a child, Beryl was told that she could never take part in strenuous activities due to a heart condition. Fast-forward several years, and a blossoming workplace romance with charismatic amateur cyclist Charlie Burton, and Beryl finds her true love. Not just with Charlie – but with the thrill and freedom of racing along on two wheels.
Proving everybody wrong, Beryl went on to become a tour-de-force in the world of cycling. She became the five times world-pursuit champion, thirteen times national champion, twice road-racing world champion and twelve times national champion. She was also a British record holder and a world record holder, and was appointed an MBE and then an OBE too.
A critically acclaimed show written by the award-winning actress Maxine Peake.
Maxine Peake was inspired to write the play when she was given a copy of Beryl’s autobiography as a gift. Questioning why no one had ever written a play about the cycling legend’s life, she set about penning it herself. The work started out as a radio play Beryl: A Love Story on Two Wheels before it was adapted for the stage. The stage show received its premiere at Leeds Playhouse in June 2014, perfectly timed to coincide with the start of the Tour De France in Yorkshire.
This new production will see performers Tori Burgess (Olivier Award-nominated 2022), James Lewis, Charlie Ryan and Elizabeth Twells jump on their bikes to play multiple roles.
Director Chris Lawson said: “Beryl Burton showed the world what you can do if you really dedicate yourself to achieving your goals. In her lifetime she didn’t get the recognition she deserved, but now thanks to Maxine Peake’s wonderful writing, she serves as an inspiration to a whole new generation of women and cyclists. I’m really proud to be sharing the story of this strong Yorkshire woman across the North West”.
Make sure you get yourself down to Oldham Coliseum this May to discover how Beryl Burton – wife, mother, northern lass – became a record-breaking world champion and a cycling legend.
Dates and Times