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The Encounter

Complicite | Simon McBurney
8 - 23 August 2015
Edinburgh International Conference Centre

World Premiere

“…my hand, groping around the universe, has torn a corner open… why did I tear the corner open, if I’m not prepared for the encounter?”

Twenty years ago Simon McBurney was given a book.

Written by a Romanian who escaped the Ceaușescu regime to reinvent himself as a Los Angeles screenwriter, the book, Amazon Beaming, tells the story of photographer Loren McIntyre, who, in 1969, found himself lost amongst the remote people of the Javari Valley, on the border between Brazil and Peru. It was an encounter that changed his life: bringing the limits of human consciousness into startling focus.

Taking Petru Popescu’s account of McIntyre’s journey as its compass and using binaural technology to build an intimate and shifting world of sound, Complicite’s new production is a set of encounters with nature, with time, and with our own consciousness.

McBurney holds us enthralled

The Scotsman

The Encounter is a tour de force that shows contemporary theatre at its most immersive and thought provoking

Financial Times

More reviews

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

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  • Running time: 
    2 hours approximately


Edinburgh International Conference Centre

The Exchange
150 Morrison Street

Funded by

Sir Ewan and Lady Brown
through the Edinburgh International Festival Commissioning Fund



A new production from Complicite / Simon McBurney inspired by the book Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu. 

Simon McBurney Director and performer
Michael Levine Designer
Gareth Fry Sound designer
Paul Anderson Lighting designer
Will Duke Projection designer
Kirsty Housley Co-director
Jemima James Assistant director
Pete Malkin Sound associate

Find out more about Complicite

Twitter: @complicite
Facebook: TheatredeComplicite

The Encounter | List review

August 14th 2015

So astonishing and inventive is this show that it feels like we're witnessing a real turning point in theatre, a performance that will be looked back on in years to come as hugely influential ★★★★★

Read the full review here (The List)

Review by: 

Yasmin Sulaiman
The List

The Encounter | Sunday Herald review

August 16th 2015

an unforgettably brilliant work of total theatre ★★★★★

Read the full review here (Herald Scotland)

Review by: 

Mark Brown
Sunday Herald

The Encounter | Scotsman review

August 10th 2015

McBurney holds us enthralled ★★★★★

Read the full review here (WOW247)

Review by: 

Joyce McMillan
Theatre critic
The Scotsman

The Encounter | The Independent

August 11th 2015

Simon McBurney has produced something of a game-changer ★★★★★

Read the full review here (The Independent)

Review by: 

Alice Jones
Deputy arts editor
The Independent

The Encounter | The Stage review

August 9th 2015

Advanced technology and storytelling are married to take a great yarn deep into its roots ★★★★★

Read the full review here (The Stage)

Review by: 

Thom Dibdin
Theatre critic
The Stage

The Encounter | Telegraph review

August 9th 2015

spellbinding ★★★★★

Read the full review here (The Telegraph)

Review by: 

The Encounter | Financial Times review

August 10th 2015

The Encounter is a tour de force that shows contemporary theatre at its most immersive and thought provoking ★★★★★

Read the full review here (Financial Times)

Review by: 

Giselda Murray Brown
Theatre critic
Financial Times

The Encounter | Evening News review

August 13th 2015

unquestionably an innovative and powerful show ★★★★★

Read the full review here (Edinburgh Evening News)

Review by: 

John McLellan
Edinburgh Evening News

Photo: Chloe Courtney

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book.

The 2018 International Festival will be available to browse online in the spring.


All tickets: £32
Preview (7 Aug): £15

Current discounts

Under 18s: 50% off
Students: 50% off
Young Scot card holders: 50% off
Senior citizens: 50% off
Unemployed: 50% off
Equity card holders: 50% off
MU card holders: 50% off