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Final casting announced for Beryl at Arcola Theatre


Casting news

FINAL casting has been announced for the London transfer of Beryl. Written by Maxine Peake and directed by Marieke Audsley, it runs at Arcola Theatre from October 16 to November 16, 2019.

The line up includes Mark Conway, Jessica Duffield, Annie Kirkman and Tom Lorcan.

Beryl Burton MBE, OBE – twice World Road-race Champion, five times World Pursuit Champion – was never meant to cycle.

Aged 11, a serious illness left her with a weakened heart. Doctors warned against strenuous exercise for the rest of her life.

Aged 30, branded ‘the Yorkshire housewife’ and with no financial sponsorship, she became the first sportswoman in history to break a men’s competitive record.

Featuring a host of unforgettable characters and a great big dollop of Northern wit, Maxine Peake’s freewheeling play is the extraordinary true story of a woman who pushed at the limits, took on the status quo – and won.

Beryl, which celebrates the extraordinary sporting achievements of this inspirational cyclist, was specially commissioned as an adaptation from Maxine Peake’s acclaimed 2012 Radio 4 play and marks her stage-writing debut. It received its world premiere on June 30, 2014 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Mark Conway’s theatre credits include: Blue Departed (VAULT Festival 19), Ballistic (Kings Head, Pleasance – EdFringe, UK Tour), Sex with Robots and other Devices (Live Theatre), Occupied, It Never Ends, Hacked (Theatre503) and Chicken Dust (Finborough Theatre).

Jessica Duffield’s theatre includes: Goodnight Mister Tom (East Riding Theatre), My Big Little Sister (National Tour: Lyric Hammersmith, Yvonne Arnaud and Nottingham Playhouse), Lady Susan, The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband, The Vagina Monologues (East Riding Theatre) and Top Girls (Tristan Bates Theatre).

As a founding member of She Productions, Theatre Company in Residence at East Riding Theatre, Duffield has co-written and performed in Beverley Does Broadway, The Three Kingdoms, The Lightless Pumkpin and The Lightless Pumpkin Returns. With She Productions, she launched SheFest 2019 and rewrote and directed The Three Kingdoms. She was nominated for the BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award for Radio.

The cast of Beryl

Annie Kirkman’s theatre credits include: Beryl (East Riding Theatre), Red Riding Hood (Engine House Theatre), Diane Keaton in Being Woody (Prince of Wales Theatre), Jane Austen in Austen The Musical (UK Tour), Cinderella in Into The Woods, Sofia in Days of Hope (Ye Olde Rose & Crown), Mary Arnold in Shellshock (Waterloo East Theatre), Diana in I Love You Because (Theatro Technis) and Alice in The Martyr (Soho Theatre).

Kirkman is also a founding member of She Productions, Company in Residence at the East Riding Theatre.

Tom Lorcan’s theatre includes: Romeo & Juliet, Richard III (Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre), Julius Caesar, Titus Andronicus, Dido Queen of Carthage (RSC), The Damned United (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Oh! What a Lovely War (Theatre Royal Stratford East), One Man, Two Guvnors (West End), Peter & Andy (Theatre 503), Billy Elliot (West End), Jersey Boys (West End), Fiddler on the Roof (West End), Alice in Wonderland (Birmingham Rep) and Blood Brothers (UK Tour).

Lorcan’s screen credits include: Coronation Street, Bliss, Drifters, Suspicion, Holby City, Hollyoaks, War & Peace, Doctors, Waterloo Road and Dalziel & Pascoe (TV); The Dare, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Between Two Worlds (film).

Produced Sue Kirkman, Beryl has set design by Ed Ullyart, costume design by Sylvia Eales and lighting design by Simon Bedwell. Assistant director is Roberta Zuric.

Tickets: Best £22 (£19 previews), Standard £20 (£17 previews), Value £15 (£12 previews). To book, call the box office on 020 7503 1646 or visit

Times: Monday to Saturday at 8pm, Saturday matinees at 3pm.

Relaxed performance: Wednesday, November 6 at 8pm.

Read more about Arcola Theatre’s Autumn 2019 Season.