Friday 16 October 2015

Beryl Burton - a Play

Hosted at Tarvin Community Centre, and brought to us by the The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Beryl Burton is a play written by Maxine Peake, about this lady from the 50-60's who was amazing in her cycling achievements.  The story took us from her school days and being struck down with rheumatic fever, from which she was told not to take part in strenuous activity.  The next thing she has met a young man, and he has taken her out on a club run; cleverly shown with four bikes on rollers and a cinefilm playing behind them.

Her trials and tribulations were portrayed with humour, and it felt like they left no little bits out.  The four actors, who took it in turns to act different parts (including the Queen) with comical asides, kept us all enthralled and entertained.

The play finale had the actors listing her amazing achievements indicated by a 'trophy' for each category, many records of which remain unbroken.

I think we all had favourite parts, such as when she is knocked down by a car (how that was portrayed), grim determination to win at all costs, the lack of funding or recognition for cycling (let alone women's cycling), the birth of her daughter - it was all there!

Afterwards, we were lucky enough to meet the cast and for them to pose for a photo with us.  A most enjoyable and memorable night!

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