Doppelgänger The Drama of Europa

Simon McBurney & Thomas Ostermeier
Simon McBurney & Thomas Ostermeier | Photo: Sarah Ainslie, Arno Declair

Simon McBurney (Complicité, UK) and Thomas Ostermeier (Schaubühne, Germany) discuss their personal approach to theatre-making, arts funding and where their cultural roots lie. Hear how two leading directors take the Europe debate to a new and fascinating level.

Simon McBurney

Simon McBurney is one of the most exciting British directors alive today – he is also one of the most international. He creates thrilling productions all over the world, based on the works of Dürrenmatt, Frisch, Murakami, Bulgakov, Beckett and many more.

A lot of his most innovative work is as artistic director of the ground-breaking theatre company Complicité, which Simon set up 30 years ago. 

Complicité’s productions are both visually stunning and cerebral, combining high-tech wizardry with magical storytelling.

Simon McBurney is also a renowned TV and film actor; you may have seen him in Harry Potter or The Last King Of Scotland and in Rev and The Vicar of Dibley.
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Thomas Ostermeier

Thomas Ostermeier is one of Germany’s foremost theatre directors and managers. He grew up in Bavaria, but cut his theatrical teeth at the University of the Arts in Berlin, before studying theatre direction at the Ernst Busch University, also in the capital.

His first job was as director-manager of the Baracke, the second stage of the Deutsches Theater, where he won the Theatre of the Year award, before moving on to the Schaubühne, where he still works as a member of the artistic direction team.

He has won numerous awards for his work and directed dozens of plays both inside and outside Germany. His production of Hamlet, which he first presented at the Schaubühne in 2008, has travelled the world and been described as “a wake-up call to British directors.”
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