The Encounter OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Robie Jack
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    February 12, 2016
    Closing:
    March 6, 2016

    Theater: Barbican Centre / Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS, United Kingdom

    Synopsis: 

    Simon McBurney transports us into the humid depths of the Amazon, his storytelling served by the enveloping presence of binaural technology. In 1969, National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre became hopelessly 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, McBurney incorporates objects and sound effects into this solo performance to evoke a rainforest landscape. Transmitted direct to the audience through provided headphones, the show’s ground-breaking sound design plugs into the power of the imagination, questioning our perceptions of time, communication and our own consciousness.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Encounter

    You See ‘The Encounter’ With Your Ears

    Ben Brantley

    February 26, 2016: Someone is blowing in your ear, and it isn’t anybody in your immediate vicinity. You can feel this distant person’s breath (hot) and his urgency (hotter), and the sound of him is all over the place — behind you, before you, to either side of you, close and distant, shouting and whispering, sometimes in several voices at once. You could make him (them) go away, you know, quite easily. All you would have to do is remove the headphones you were instructed to put on as soon as you arrived at the Barbican Theater. But why would you want to? This man of many tongues — his name is Simon McBurney — is taking you somewhere you’ve never been before. And not just into the rain forests of the Amazon, where most of the story that’s being told here takes place. Mr. McBurney’s “The Encounter,” which sold out its limited run (through March 6) at the Barbican even before it opened last week, is a journey to the center of your mind that begins in your auditory nerves and keeps burrowing deeper. Directed and performed by Mr. McBurney, this production from the genre-bending Complicite company is one of the most fully immersive theater pieces ever created.

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