Simon McBurney explores the time-space continuum in “The Encounter.” This multidimensional story is based on a book written by an Englishman about an American explorer who visits an indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest. McBurney — or McBurney’s voice — portrays all of the many characters, although he is the only performer onstage. The rapid shifts and overlays of voices, accents, sound effects and music is accomplished by the ingenious use of sound recording and McBurney’s live voice, all of which he integrates with split nanosecond timing and delivers to the audience in stereophonic sound through headsets. The story has the added dimension of a powerful message about environmental awareness.
A virtuoso performance and a riveting production. The narrative goes off track occasionally, but overall an absorbing and fascinating worthwhile evening.
Posted: 10/07/16 by Doug Anderson
“The Encounter” comes to Broadway from London. Simon McBurney’s one-man play draws from “Amazon Beaming,” a book by Petru Popescu about National Geographic writer and photographer Loren McIntyre’s experience with tribes along the Amazon River. Inspired by these real events, “The Encounter” follows the photographer as he finds himself lost in a remote area of Brazil. Everyone wears headphones and you give McBurney permission to get into your head so you can experience the experience rather than simply watching. We found ourselves transported to the jungle for an hour fifty minutes. It was wonderful, but maybe twenty minutes less would have been even more wonderful. Here’s the review from the New York Times.