|Born||Simon Montagu McBurney
25 August 1957
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
|Occupation||Actor, writer, theatre director|
McBurney was born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. His father, Charles McBurney, was an American archaeologist and academic. Charles McBurney was the grandson of the American surgeon Charles McBurney (who was credited with describing McBurney's point, though critics have since challenged its existence). His mother, Anne Francis Edmondstone (née Charles), was a British secretary of English, Scottish and Irish ancestry; his parents were distant cousins who met during World War II. Brought up in a loving, somewhat cloistered, environment, McBurney was 15 before he discovered that Burn's Night wasn't purely a family affair. McBurney studied English literature at Peterhouse, Cambridge graduating in 1980. After his father died, he went to France and trained for the theatre at the Jacques Lecoq Institute in Paris.
McBurney is a founder and artistic director of the UK-based theatre company Complicite, which performs throughout the world. He directed their productions of Street of Crocodiles (1992), The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol (1994), Mnemonic (1999) and The Elephant Vanishes (2003), “A Disappearing Number” (2007), “A Dog’s Heart” (2010), "The Master and Margarita” (2011).
A Disappearing Number was a devised piece conceived and directed by McBurney, taking as its inspiration the story of the collaboration between two of the 20th century's most remarkable pure mathematicians, the Indian genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, and Cambridge don G.H. Hardy. It played at the Barbican in autumn 2008 and toured internationally. In February 2009 McBurney directed the Complicite production Shun-kin, based on two texts by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki. It was produced in London and Tokyo in 2010.
On a freelance basis, McBurney directed the following: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and All My Sons (2008) (both in New York), and live comedy shows, including Lenny Henry's So Much Things To Say and French and Saunders Live in 2000.
McBurney is an established screen actor: he played the recurring role of Cecil the choirmaster in The Vicar of Dibley, CIA computer whiz Garland in Body of Lies, Dr. Atticus Noyle in The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Stone in The Last King of Scotland, the metrosexual husband Aaron in Friends with Money, Fra Pavel in The Golden Compass, Charles James Fox in The Duchess and Oliver Lacon in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He also wrote the story and was an executive producer for Mr. Bean's Holiday.
He appears in the BBC TV comedy series Rev., where he plays Archdeacon Robert.
He is the Artiste Associé of the 66th Festival d'Avignon (2012).
- In the 2005 New Year Honours he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to Drama".
- Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
- Simon McBurney at the Internet Movie Database
- Guardian article
- Profile page at the Complicite website
- A Disappearing Number at the Barbican
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