On Tuesday 1st March Theatre de Complicite did a live stream of their show 'The Encounter' from The Barbican Centre and the relationship to man and technology and man and nature comes fully into focus.
Now I wouldn't normally go to a Live cinema screening of a play simply because I am a passionate believer in the live performance, but I know this medium has great a place in our culture as it means London shows can be watched all around the country and the world! And alternatively we can get a bigger audience perhaps watching Opera, for example, The Royal Opera House screenings in Summer are always free.
With 'The Encounter' I some how missed getting to the show in person, however, I did know that the show involved the audience wearing headphones during the performance in which Simon McBurney spoke to us through the onstage microphones. It was absolutely imperative that the live audience wore headphones and so it was for us, which is one of the reasons I was very keen to watch this show in this medium. It seemed to lend itself to it. Instead of just watching a live stream of a play, McBurney is talking directly into our headphones and we are more or less experiencing something similar to the live audience in the Theatre.
McBurney re-tells the story of Loren McIntyre a photographer who in 1969 got lost in the Brazilian rainforest, whilst trying to find the Mayourna people, and this encounter that he had with them is truly incredible and re-told on stage with such wonderment by McBurney who intertwines details about himself and his own personal life into the story of McIntyre. McBurney uses objects and affects to create an intensely powerful soundscape. One believes that one is in the rainforest and at times the journey we are taking becomes utterly psychedelic and brings in to question, both the nature of humanity, time and consciousness. Theatre, man, technology and even Nature have become truly symbiotic in this performance.