Simon McBurney

Simon McBurney

Artistic director Complicité

Photo: Ali Wright

Simon McBurney (England, 1957) is an actor, writer and theatre director, and co-founder and artistic director of theatre company Complicité. All of his work is based on extensive research, relies on a strong process of collaboration, and is rooted in the firm belief that all aspects of theatre should challenge the theatrical form.

Apart from writing and creating original works, McBurney has staged renowned plays by the likes of Beckett and Shakespeare, produced many operas and adapted numerous literary works. His many awards include the Berlin Konrad Woolf Prize for Europe’s Outstanding Multi-Disciplinary Artists and the prestigious Yomiuri Prize in Japan, of which he was the first foreign recipient.

Together with Crystal Pite, McBurney has created three works for NDT 1 over a span of four years. The Figures in Extinction triptych focuses on their fears and cautious hopes for our age in a unique cross-disciplinary exchange. In February 2025, the third part will premiere in Manchester before going on to tour in the Netherlands.

Photo: Sacha Grootjans

It’s the creative command of sound as well as image that gives this piece its power. The finale delivers a terrifying noise allied to a great physical churning of synchronised movement – neither of bird, nor fish, nor mammal, nor glacier but somehow all of them at once. This is a truly extraordinary use of theatrical dance

The Arts Desk