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Complicité present

The Encounter


Complicité present

The Encounter


Until 25 May 2020

This event has past.


We are delighted to be partnering with Complicité to broadcast The Encounter online. The show, described as ‘a tour de force’ by Financial Times and ‘one of the most fully-immersive theatre pieces ever created’ by New York Times played sold out runs at London’s Barbican theatre in 2016 and 2017 but on Friday 15 May at 7pm the show will be available online and you can watch it HERE for free.

The show has received a raft of five star reviews since its premiere in 2015 and is the winner of numerous awards including the 2017 Special Tony Award for Sound Design.

The Encounter tells the story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre who, in 1969, became lost in a remote part of the Brazilian rainforest while searching for the Mayoruna people. His encounter was to test his perception of the world, bringing the limits of human consciousness into startling focus.

Threading scenes of his own life with details of McIntyre’s journey, Simon McBurney incorporates objects and sound effects into this solo performance to evoke the depths of the Amazon rainforest. The show’s ground-breaking binaural sound design (3D audio) by Olivier Award winner, Gareth Fry, is transmitted to the audience through headphones and plugs into the power of the imagination, questioning our perceptions of time and our own consciousness.

Important information

Age guideline:


Audiences must wear headphones to watch The Encounter online, or the effect of the binaural recording will be lost. Any headphones will work, but playing the film out of speakers will not give the same effect. It is free to watch, and will be available to watch on demand for a week until 10pm, Mon 25 May 2020.

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 – Complicité Artistic Director




The Daily Telegraph

A must-see – or perhaps I should say, a must-hear.

The Independent

A tour de force…

Financial Times


The Stage




Sunday Herald


Sunday Times


Daily Mail





The Encounter

Inspired by the novel Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu

Directed and performed Simon McBurney
Co-Director Kirsty Housley
Associate Director Jemima James
Design Michael Levine
Sound Gareth Fry with Pete Malkin
Lighting Paul Anderson
Projection Will Duke

A Complicité co-production with the Barbican, Edinburgh International Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Warwick Arts Centre.

Live Q&A

A live discussion event and public Q&A will take place on Wednesday 20 May, 7.30pm, with Simon McBurney and guests, including filmmaker Takumã Kuikuro on a link to the Xingu region of the Amazon.

Register to join the discussion.


Herald Angel Award for Best Production 2015
Knights of Illumination Award for Projection 2016
Evening Standard Award for Best Design (Sound) 2017
The Stage Award for Innovation 2017
Special Tony Award for Sound Design 2017
Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Sound Design in a Play 2017
The Helpmann Award for Best Sound Design 2017