Review Roundup: Simon McBurney's THE ENCOUNTER In San Francisco

Performances began on Tuesday, April 25, at the Curran for a strictly limited two-week run of THE ENCOUNTER starring Simon McBurney. This run marks the final U.S. engagement of the production through Sunday, May 7. BroadwayWorld has photos from the opening festivities below!

With THE ENCOUNTER, Curran becomes home to an incredibly progressive and immersive theater experience, as well as a newly released calendar of educational events around the performance's themes of technology, solitude, consciousness and imagination:

Let's see what the critics had to say!


Stark Insider (Ilana Walder-Biesanz): "Using looping, accents, pre-recording, the directional microphone, and other techniques both high-tech and theatrical, McBurney creates and dismantles worlds. Sometimes we sit in his London flat, where he works on this show around frequent interjections by his adorable daughter. Clips of interviews with experts play tantalizingly, covered within seconds by live talking. Then we move to the Amazon basin, where sounds of rain and wild animals surround us. McBurney alternates between the gruff American adventurer Loren McIntyre and his own identity as omniscient narrator."

Mercury News (Karen D'Souza): "Part journalistic adventure, part radio play, this is a show it's tempting to intellectualize. Don't. Instead close your eyes and succumb to the masterful alchemy of sound. Feel the forest, sense the wildlife and before you know it, McIntyre is not the only one having a transformative experience of the primal. Immersed in a shimmering cocoon of sound, we are too."

Theatre Arts Daily (Mark Johnson): "One-man shows are tricky, especially when written, directed, and performed by the same person, because all three elements have to work with each other and the performer must be equally adept at staging; the director must be equally adept at writing. Thankfully, McBurney is up to snuff on all counts. An excellent actor, his performance, both as McIntyre and as a fictionalized version of himself, who talks nonchalantly to the audience as well as remembers a past when he was attempting to write the show before our eyes, is roundly convincing and emotionally true. His staging is clear and focused, allowing the play to maintain clarity even without the crutch of the sound, and his musings on the nature of time and western imperialism are insightful and clever."

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