Beryl play could come home in 2015

Maxine Peake's play about Morley sporting legend Beryl Burton could be coming home to Morley in 2015.
Maxine Peake's play about Morley sporting legend Beryl Burton could be coming home to Morley in 2015.

Maxine Peake’s play about sporting legend Beryl Burton could visit Morley Town Hall as part of its comeback tour in 2015.

Beryl, which brought the house down at the West Yorkshire Playhouse this summer, has been given £180,000 worth of funding from the Arts Council to tour theatres in the north for 10 weeks from September.

Although no dates or details are close to being confirmed, the show’s artistic director has suggested that the play could visit Beryl’s hometown next year.

James Brining said: “There is a chance we could possibly come to Morley and I think that would be absolutely brilliant.

“We did a run through of the script in Morley Town Hall before we started at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and that was a great night.

“You could see how proud Morley folk were of Beryl and there were people in the audience there who’d actually known and cycled with Beryl. I know the actors really fed off that and that helped them in their individual roles.

“I think if we did come to Morley that would be a really special night.”

Coun Judith Elliott, who paid glowing tribute to Beryl when the cyclist was posthumously given the Freedom of the City of Leeds earlier this year, said: “I thought the play was absolutely wonderful.

“ I felt they got the very essence of Beryl perfectly and it touched all the emotions.

“I liked how they did it in such a modern way with bikes on stage and I think it worked wonderfully well.”

“We’re very proud of her in Morley and rightly so.”

Maxine Peake said she was extremely excited to hear the play was to be staged again. 
She told the Observer & Advertiser: “It was a huge shock to me how successful it was in its initial run and I put that down directly to the wonderful director Rebecca Gatswood and the super talented cast. The audiences were completely won over by their warmth and playfulness. I’m just so pleased that Beryl, the Burtons and Morley are getting the recognition they deserve.”