Jamie Wood

Beating McEnroe

Venue: South Street (Directions)

Wed 6 Mar, 20:00
Sold out


1981. Wimbledon. Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe face each other across the net: the self-controlled champion and the impassioned upstart. An epic rivalry comes to a head. A six-year old boy watches and learns.

Bjorn Borg epitomised tennis cool. He was everything Jamie and his brother wanted to be. Then John McEnroe came along and Jamie was beaten, along with Borg. Thirty years of torment and self-questioning later, Jamie is ready to face his greatest opponent. Beating McEnroe is about being a younger brother and a bad loser. It is about competition and control, vitriol and zen. It is about rivalry and love and how they can both better us and destroy us. It is funny, familiar and strangely beautiful.

Beating McEnroe is a new solo show from award-winning theatre maker Jamie Wood about a pivotal moment. With the help of his audience, amongst vivid, surprising images, Jamie performs a cathartic ritual: recreating and reliving the last point of one fateful match until he is finally able to move on in his life. Beating McEnroe was shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award for Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form in 2013, won the From Edinburgh with Love award from Ovalhouse and in 2014 won Best Show at BE Festival as voted by the audience.

Running time: 60 minutes (no interval)

Ticket information

£12, £11 concessions, £10 members - become a member


  • “Beating McEnroe is as funny as the best comedy, super-theatrical & entirely unlike anything else.”

    The Guardian

Venue info

South Street

21 South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU

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Contact: Box Office: 0118 960 6060; Administration: 0118 937 3456

Box office is open at South Street Arts Centre on performance days one hour before the show (subject to availability)

Phone lines open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm