REVIEW ROUNDUP: “The Encounter” Opened with a ShowScore of 74

Show-Score | Sep 30, 2016
“The Encounter,” written by Simon  McBurney and directed by McBurney and Kirsty Housley, opened on September 29, 2016 in New York City. “The Encounter,” written by Simon McBurney and directed by McBurney and Kirsty Housley, opened on September 29, 2016 in New York City.


30 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 75.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 95
"No production on Broadway has ever thrown the doors of perception open as widely as 'The Encounter,' Simon McBurney’s astonishing one-man show...McBurney sustains the momentum of his story as tensely and enjoyably as if it were a Rudyard Kipling yarn...It may be he who’s running and dancing and leaping and sweating. But by the end of this nonpareil show’s two intermissionless hours, you are as lightheaded, exhausted, baffled and invigorated as if it had been you."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 95
"Closing one’s eyes in the theater can be a sign of boredom. But shutting the peepers at McBurney’s utterly transfixing mind-tickler 'The Encounter' is a valid expression of rapture...McBurney is a wryly engaging performer who can command an audience by sheer force...In this primal, lysergic movie for the brain, McBurney covers a dazzling array of topics...Part mystic thriller, part tricksy aural illusion, 'The Encounter' offers a meeting of ear, mind and soul you will never forget."
Alexis Soloski
The Guardian (UK)
ShowScore: 80
"McBurney is a passionate storyteller, both wily and wild; he needs no technological marvels to make his case. Yet the headphones emphasize the personal relationship he establishes with each auditor and it challenges us to reflect on how and why we surrender to his tale...Headphones are isolating, however, and they make the experience somewhat less communal...But when the sound is flooding and McBurney is chanting, 'The Encounter' is mood-altering and mind-expanding enough."

“The Encounter” was also reviewed by Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Doug Marino of Act Three - The Reviews, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Brian Scott Lipton of Theater Pizzazz, Chris J Kelly of Star-Ledger (, Nicole Serratore of Exeunt Magazine, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Johnny Oleksinki of New York Post, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Linda Winer of Newsday, Robert Kahn of WNBC, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Steven Suskin of The Huffington Post, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Matt Windman of AM New York, and Terry Teachout of Wall Street Journal.


The show was also reviewed by 238 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 74.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Ambitious, Original, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking

Theatre Cat, ShowScore: 65
See it if…"A one-man show that starts like a TED Talk and transitions into a radio play sounds enjoyable. A sound-based play trying something different." 
Don't see it if…"You don't want to wear headphones for two hours with no intermission. A John Smith story with noble savage mysticism sounds played out." 
Marcy, ShowScore: 89
See it if…"You are open to a new theatrical experience, are intrigued by the art of storytelling, like to be challenged a bit. Performance mastery!" 
Don't see it if…"You cannot wear headphones, don't like solo shows, want a big production, are not prepared for some visceral reactions, want a linear story." 
Wira, ShowScore: 57
See it if…"You'd like to see a show that shows off the excitement and thrill that comes from great sound design." 
Don't see it if…"You'd like to see a show where that thrill only lasts for the first 30 minutes and the rest holds the same impact as listening to an audiobook."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.