Simon McBurney is a British stage actor, writer and director who is currently Artistic Director of Theatre de Complicite.
McBurney was educated at Cambridge University, where he was Vice President of the Cambridge Footlights in 1980, the year before the famous inaugural Perrier Award winning troupe featuring Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery. McBurney and Thompson went out with each other for a while, and lived together in Cambridge, until after he left University.
In 1983 McBurney founded Theatre de Complicite with fellow Cambridge Footlights graduate Annabel Arden and Marcello Magni and Fiona Gordon. Their first production, a devised show called Put it on Your Head, opened at the Almeida Theatre in London in September 1983.
Two years later their third show, also devised, More Bigger Snacks Now, won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival. Since then their productions, largely written in collaboration with McBurney, and directed by him, have won many awards, including an Olivier Award in 1998 for Best Director for The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
The great variety of Complicite's productions is largely due to McBurney's relentless intellectual and artistic energy. Shows are devised through improvisation and collaboration, under McBurney's direction, and the inspirational source material can be a dramatic text, a novel or even a piece of music. Simon's brother, Gerard McBurney, a noted composer, has been musical adviser to Complicite since its foundation.
McBurney's credits with Theatre de Complicite are:
1983 Performer Put it on your Head
Sources include http://www.complicite.org
1984 Performer A Minute Too Late
1985 Performer More Bigger Snacks Now
1986 Director Foodstuff
1986 Performer Please, Please, Please
1987 Performer Burning Ambition (TV film)
1988 Director Anything for a Quiet Life
1989 Dir/Perf The Visit (Friedrich Durrenmatt)
1992 Performer The Winter's Tale (William Shakespeare)
1992 Dir/Adapt Street of Crocodiles (from Bruno Schulz)
1994 Dir/Adapt Out of a House Walked a Man (from Daniil Kharms)
1994 D/P/Adapt The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol (from John Berger)
1997 D/P/Adapt To The Wedding (for radio) (from John Berger)
1997 Dir/Perf The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Bertolt Brecht)
1997 Director The Chairs (Eugene Ionesco)
1999 D/P/Devised Mnemonic
2000 Dir/Adapt Light (from Torgny Lindgren)
2000 Dir/Devised The Noise of Time
2002 Director Genoa 01 (Fausto Paravidino)
2003 Dir/Adapt The Elephant Vanishes (from Haruki Murakami)