Complicite/Simon McBurney presents

The Encounter

Directed and performed by Simon McBurney

From Friday 15 May 7pm to Friday 22 May 10pm Complicite will be making their show The Encounter, recorded from the Barbican in London available to watch on their website and on their YouTube channel. Don’t miss it and don’t forget to wear your headphones.

Inspired by the novel Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu.

In 1969, Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic photographer, found himself lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil. It was an encounter that was to change his life, bringing the limits of human consciousness into startling focus. In this solo performance, Simon McBurney traces McIntyre’s journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest, using binaural technology (3D audio) to build an intimate and shifting world of sound.

“A remarkable piece of theatre delivered by a master storyteller and great actor. It is unmissable.” – British Theatre Guide

“It’s quite an experience – as much a philosophical exploration and immersive sonic experiment as it is a hallucinogenic theatrical event and acting tour-de-force… Extraordinary… It all makes complete and compelling sense as a part of such a profoundly theatrical adventure.” – Manchester Theatre Awards

★★★★½ “Very much more than a one-man-show… The experience is awe-inducing… McBurney’s performance is mesmerising.” – The Reviews Hub

★★★★★ “Simon McBurney gives an immensely powerful solo performance… An intense and intimate show which weaves its way into your mind. McBurney’s performance is a true tour de force… Remarkable, a unique and wonderfully intoxicating two hours in McBurney’s company is time well spent.” – Upstaged Manchester

★★★★★ “A truly extraordinary two hours of theatre; a tour de force solo performance, ingeniously staged and remarkably well executed by a large company of unseen creative minds… Without doubt one of the most fascinating, sensory and immersive pieces of theatre we have seen in recent times.” – The Arts Shelf

“Simon McBurney gives a phenomenal performance… By far the best show I have seen this year. This is not just a performance, it’s an experience that cannot be missed… McBurney’s passion project devours you and takes you away from this reality and into another.” – North West End

“An extraordinary performance… McBurney makes a physically and emotionally demanding show look effortless.” – The Manchester Review

One of The Telegraph’s Five Best Theatre Shows of 2015.

One of The Times’ Top 10 Plays of the Year.

One of Lyn Gardner’s (The Guardian) Top 10 Theatre of 2015.

One of Mark Fisher’s (The Guardian) Top 10 Theatre of 2015.

One of Matt Trueman’s (What’s On Stage) Top 10 Shows of 2015.

Featured in The Guardian Readers’ Favourite Stage Shows of 2015.

Complicite’s recent work includes Lionboy, The Master and Margarita, Shun-kin and A Disappearing Number.

A Complicite co-production with the Edinburgh International Festival, the Barbican, London, Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Warwick Arts Centre. Supported by Sennheiser and The Wellcome Trust.

  • Running time approx 2 hr 10 mins (no interval)
  • Recommended for 12+
  • Headphones will be worn by the audience during the performance.
  • Hearing Impaired Audiences – If you are a hearing aid user please bring along your direct input cable for use during the performance and make yourself known at Box Office upon arrival so that our technicians can talk you through how best to experience the show. If you don’t have a direct input cable or if you have a hearing impairment make yourself known at Box Office and we will adapt the equipment accordingly.
  • Captioned performance (Thu 17 Mar) will trial Talking Birds’ Difference Engine – a discreet new tool for making events and performance accessible to deaf or hard of hearing audience members through captioning to your mobile device (smartphones/tablets). If you’re intending to make use of this, please contact us in advance for more information:

Tickets £29 – £10 (conc. available)

Schools & Groups Information

– Suitable for AS, A2 and equivalent level Theatre Studies
– £11 per ticket, 1 teacher place free with every 10 students
– Available weekdays only and must be booked in advance.
– For more information, please email

  • Caption Subtitled: Thu 17 Mar, 19:30
  • BSL Interpreted: Sat 19 Mar, 19:30