Review: Maxine Peake’s Beryl a fitting tribute to a great woman

Maxine Peake stars as Beryl Burton in the West Yorkshire Playhouse play.

Maxine Peake stars as Beryl Burton in the West Yorkshire Playhouse play.

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Maxine Peake’s portrayal of Beryl Burton is an incredibly fitting and moving tribute to a woman who can now justifiably claim to be Morley’s greatest daughter.

The play brilliantly shows Beryl’s many faces - the loving wife, the caring mother, the proud Morley girl and the humble but brilliant world-beating cyclist.

As well as recording her endearing and happy marriage to Charlie, her rise to cycling glory and the momentous day when she broke the 12 hour record, there is an intimate spotlight shone on her lows. There is the agony of being told in her childhood by medics that she would be unable to exercise intensely; two road accidents that put her in hospital and a brief but bitter fallout with her daughter Denise after she beats her in a race.

 

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