Black and white headshot of Simon McBurney facing the camera.

Simon McBurney




Simon McBurney is an actor, writer, director, and co-founder of Complicite, where he has created more than 30 productions. His work, from site-specific installations to the reinvention of classic texts on Broadway, continuously resists definition, but has always been intimately bound up with music.

Previously for ENO: A Dog’s Heart.

Upcoming for ENO: The Magic Flute

Career Highlights

With his brother Gerard McBurney he created Out of a House Walked a Man…(Complicite/RNT), The Noise of Time with the Emerson String Quartet (Complicite/Lincoln Center) and Strange Poetry (Complicite/LA Philharmonic/Disney Concert Hall). He has collaborated with Peter Maxwell Davies, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Simon Rattle, Tom Waits, Nitin Sawhney, Pet Shop Boys and Honjoh Hidetaro, one of Japan’s most respected classical Shamisen players.

Recent Complicite work includes: Beware of Pity (with Schaubühne, Berlin), The Master and Margarita, Shun-kin, A Disappearing Number, Measure for Measure, The Elephant Vanishes, Pet Shop Boys Meet Eisenstein and The Encounter, in which McBurney performs.

Other directing includes: All My Sons (Broadway); The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (with Al Pacino in New York). In 2012 he was the first British Artiste Associé at Festival d’Avignon with The Master and Margarita opening the Festival. In 2009 he was awarded the Yomiuri Theatre Award Grand Prize for Best Director for Shun-kin (the first non-Japanese artist to receive the award) and he was the recipient of the 2008 Berlin Academy of Arts Konrad Wolf Prize for Europe’s Outstanding Multi-disciplinary Artists. As an actor, he has appeared in many feature films, including Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, The Theory of Everything, Magic in the Moonlight, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Jane Eyre, The Duchess and The Last King of Scotland. Television appearances include J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy and BBC TV’s Rev.

Last updated: 23rd February 2024