The Theatre de Complicite is possibly the most innovative and exciting theatre troupe in Britain. Founded in 1983 by Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden, Marcello Magni and Fiona Gordon, it is now led by Simon McBurney as Artistic Director.
Complicite's productions range from classical texts such as The Winter's Tale and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, to adaptations from other genres such as Street of Crocodiles, and wholly devised shows.
The emphasis of the company is on collaboration, not only in performance but also in the devising of shows. The expression of this on stage is in the choreography of the actors; movement and physical expression is at the centre of their art. This does not exclude dialogue - their productions are driven by narrative.
Recent productions have used technology to supplement the sparse props and staging. Video backdrops, sometimes using hand-held cameras, create multiple narratives in addition to the bewildering movements of the cast.
Complicite are relentlessly adventurous - a 2003 production was The Elephant Vanishes, an adaptation of short stories by Haruki Murakami, performed in Japanese by a Tokyo company under the direction of Simon McBurney. One previous award-winning show, The Street of Crocodiles, was based upon the stories of the Polish writer Bruno Schulz; another, Mnemonic, originated in a news story about the discovery of a 5,000 year old body in the Swiss/Italian Alps. They are currently devising a show with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to be performed in the recently opened Concert Theatre designed by Frank Gehry, and there will be an as yet unnamed collaboration with the National Theatre produced in early 2004.