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Inspired by the book 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.

Simon McBurney traces McIntyre’s journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest, incorporating innovative technology into his solo performance to build a shifting world of sound.

A Complicité co-production with Edinburgh International Festival, the Barbican, London, Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, Schaubühne – Berlin, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Warwick Arts Centre. Live stream supported by The Space.

Age guidance 12+

“We are, as a consequence of this pandemic, bodily cut off from one another. Disconnected. Isolated. But perhaps this sense of our separation one from another, is simply a heightening of what we felt before this all began. We are thinking now, not only about how long this will last, but also what happens on the other side. To reconnect we need, perhaps, to learn to listen more closely. To each other. To our communities. To other cultures. To nature itself.

The Encounter is at its heart a story about ‘listening’, not ‘hearing’ but listening; to other, older narratives which, at the deepest level, form who we are, and if we do, we can imagine how we can ‘begin’ again.”
Simon McBurney

Visit our resource website for more information on the making of The Encounter.

© Robbie Jack, Amir Sherhan, Chloe Courtney, Pete Malkin, Sarah Ainslie

“...this production from the genre-bending Complicite company is one of the most fully immersive theater pieces ever created.” The New York Times
“Simon McBurney’s solo show for his company Complicite is quite extraordinary: a profound meditation on our relationship to time and a captivating piece of high-definition storytelling...Sensational.” Variety
“The Encounter is a tour de force that shows contemporary theatre at its most immersive and thought provoking... an aural and visual delight” The Financial Times
“...this is masterful storytelling from a man and a company who are incapable of remaining within known theatrical boundaries. A must-see - or perhaps I should say, a must-hear.” The Independent
“It is a sensuous, immersive foray into sound, and an experiment in time-bending and mind-melding. It’s also a ripping yarn.” Sunday Times
“The show of the year, hands down.” WhatsOnStage
“ unforgettably brilliant work of total theatre” Sunday Herald
“ astonishing theatrical feat where discovery is all.” Herald
“Spellbinding” The Telegraph
“On a good night, theatre can make you see the world through new eyes. And, in the case of this revelatory new one-man show from Simon McBurney and his company Complicite, can make you hear the world through new ears too...truly thrilling.” The Times
“ extraordinary yarn and an expedition into theatrical possibility” The Times
“The Encounter is unlike any other theatrical experience” Daily Mail
“Funny, profound, moving and visionary.” Daily Mail
“Simon McBurney and Complicite shred the fabric of time and space with this awesome new show” Time Out
“It’s a performance of startling inventiveness and precision, simultaneously conspiratorial and confrontational” London Evening Standard
“...internationally recognised as one of the great theatre-makers and theatre-changers of our time... McBurney uses his magnificent voice and powerful body to take us through a story that seems to lead us towards the very source of human consciousness” Scotsman
“It is also proof, should any be required, that Complicité remains entirely without parallel in British theatre” British Theatre Guide


Edinburgh International Festival 8 - 23 August 2015
Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne 8 - 12 September 2015
Bristol Old Vic 18 - 20 September 2015
Warwick Arts Centre 10 - 11 October 2015
London Barbican 12 February - 6 March 2016
Live stream online 1 - 8 March 2016
Manchester HOME 16 - 19 March 2016
Athens The Onassis Cultural Centre 1 - 3 April 2016
Brighton Festival 11 - 15 May 2016
Oxford Playhouse 25 - 28 May 2016
Wiener Festwochen 2 - 5 June 2016
Holland Festival, Amsterdam 9 - 12 June 2016
Printemps Des Comediens, Montpellier 16 - 18 June 2016
Les Nuit de Fourviere, Lyon 23 - 25 June 2016
Broadway - John Golden Theatre 20 September 2016 - 8 January 2017
Sydney Festival

Performed by Richard Katz

18 - 28 January 2017
Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne

Performed by Richard Katz

2 - 10 February 2017
Perth International Arts Festival

Performed by Richard Katz

16 - 25 February 2017
Adelaide Festival

Performed by Richard Katz

7 - 11 March 2017
Auckland Arts Festival

Performed by Richard Katz

15 - 19 March 2017
Ann Arbor, Michigan 30 March - 1 April 2017
Wallis Annenberg, Los Angeles 6 - 16 April 2017
The Curran, San Francisco 25 April - 7 May 2017
Odeon Théâtre de l'Europe, Paris 29 March - 8 April 2018
Barbican, London 14 April - 5 May 2018
DeSingel, Antwerp 9 - 12 May 2018
Schaubühne, Berlin 17 - 20 May 2018
Golden Mask Festival, Moscow 25 - 27 May 2018



Creative Team


2015 Herald Angel Award (Simon McBurney) 2016 The Evening Standard Award for Best Design (Gareth Fry, Pete Malkin) The Knights of Illumination Award for Best Projection (Will Duke) 2017 Stage Award for Innovation Special Tony Award for Sound Design (Gareth Fry, Pete Malkin) Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance (Simon McBurney) Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Sound Design in a Play (Gareth Fry, Pete Malkin) The Helpmann Award for Best Sound Design (Gareth Fry, Pete Malkin) 2021 Off West End OnComm Award for The Encounter online, Recorded Shows / Pre-Covid19 Lockdown Recording / Significant Edits
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