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Beryl Burton play returns to West Yorkshire Playhouse ahead of national tour

Maxine Peake play pays tribute to legendary cyclist who won 122 national titles over five decades

The Maxine Peake play about British cyclist Beryl Burton has returned to West Yorkshire Playhouse for another run. Beryl will run until July 18 before beginning a nationwide tour.

Actor and playwright Maxine Peake was inspired to write a Radio 4 play about Burton after being given a book about her by her boyfriend. Last summer that play became a stage production which was performed during the Grand Depart cultural festival in Leeds (here’s our review).

The Yorkshire Post reports that Beryl will now have a second run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse this summer ahead of a nationwide tour.

Beryl Burton dominated women’s cycling in the UK throughout the 60s and into the 70s, winning seven world titles in that time. In 1967 she also set a 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles. This was a record that no man would beat for another two years and no woman has improved upon to this day.

Despite her successes, Burton’s daughter Denise Burton Cole said she was not one to seek recognition. Even so, Denise is glad that the play will be seen by more people. “We have never been a family to go for recognition. Mum raced because she loved it and wanted to represent her country, but it is nice now this is happening – and she well deserves it.”

Burton was also the subject of a short BBC documentary as part of a series paying tribute to pioneering women in sport earlier this year.

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