Award-Winning Play about tennis legend Althea Gibson to run at Live Theatre during Wimbledon  

Award-Winning Play about tennis legend Althea Gibson to run at Live Theatre during Wimbledon  

Live Theatre on Newcastle’s quayside is thrilled to be staging Kemi-Bo Jacobs’ award-winning play, All White Everything But Me, inspired by the remarkable life of tennis player, Althea Gibson, to coincide with The Championships, Wimbledon.   

Playing on their main stage/centre court from Wed 3 – Sat 6 July 2024, Live Theatre is offering North East audiences a chance for a rematch after it debuted at Alphabetti Theatre in 2022 to huge acclaim, with direction by Becky Morris for this round. 

Associate Artist at Live Theatre, Kemi-Bo Jacobs, is both the writer and performer of this one-woman show inspired by the life of South Carolina born Althea who overcame huge racial barriers and made history to become the first black person to win Wimbledon.  Despite the magnitude of her victories at Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958, the French Open (1956) and US Open (1957 and 1958) her story has been somewhat erased from history. 

Gibson’s journey from a family of sharecroppers to Grand Slam winner is the ultimate American Dream but she remains shamefully unknown.  Jacobs’ work has tried to rectify that by highlighting her story, celebrating her unique life and extraordinary success whilst asking the still-pressing questions of who is remembered and immortalised in sporting history, and who is forgotten…bringing back to public awareness a true sporting hero in the process. 

Following its World Premiere run at Newcastle’s Alphabetti Theatre in 2022, Kemi-Bo Jacobs was shortlisted for Best Writer in The Stage Debut Awards and was Winner of Writer Of The Year at the North East Culture Awards. 

Jack McNamara, Live Theatre’s Artistic Director and Joint CEO said: “Kemi-Bo Jacob’s play was the deserving winner of a North East Culture Award so we are thrilled to be able to bring it to audiences during Wimbledon. The play is so lovingly crafted, totally transporting you to another time and place. Kemi-Bo is a compelling performer, and her writing is deeply committed to celebrating people who have been overlooked through history. We want these stories on our stage at Live and for groundbreakers like Althea Gibson to have the recognition that is due to them.”

★★★★ ‘A smartly written and compellingly performed one-woman show about a groundbreaking, but often overlooked, tennis champion.’ THE STAGE 

‘Jacobs performance is enthralling. Her energy is just nonstop from start to finish…you have to get down to see this.’ 

Audiences coming to see the play at Live Theatre can expect to be immersed in the tennis tournament with Pimm’s on the menu at the bar and grass court coverage being shown on TV screens for the must-see championship matches before performances on stage.   

As well as accolades achieved for her writing and performance in her debut solo play All White Everything But Me for its first run in 2022, Durham-based performer and writer, Kemi-Bo Jacobs was also the recipient of the New Writing North and Channel 4 Writing Award 2021.  Her most recent acting role was in The Other Boleyn Girl at Chichester Festival Theatre. 

All White Everything But Me, is a game, set and match winner and plays at Live Theatre, Newcastle for six performances from Wed 3 – Sat 6 July 2024.  Tickets £15 online at or from Box Office on (0191) 2321232

Discover more from Home

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading