Simon Mcburney Quotes

simon mcburney quotes



When I was doing 'A Disappearing Number' in Plymouth, we had to go on an hour and a half late, and I still hadn't written an end, so we had to make one up, and then we had to go out literally with our pants round our ankles.


Mozart's seeming frothiness is just a light touch with very profound material. That's what I've found working on 'The Magic Flute.'


Everyone sees something different in 'Endgame': a biblical apocalypse, a portrait of painful co-dependency, a confession of guilt and dignity in the face of death, a night of baffling hopelessness, a meaningless babble. Each interpretation reveals an absurd truth - not about the play, but about the person watching it.


I spent the majority of time at school trying to break the rules. I would climb to the top of buildings; I even burned a building down once - not intentionally, just because I was interested in fire. I remember going through the rule book, ticking off the ones I had broken and looking for the ones I hadn't.


Infinity is a way to describe the incomprehensible to the human mind. In a way, it notates a mystery. That kind of mystery exists in relationships. A lifetime is not enough to know someone else. It provides a brief glimpse.


For me, acting is like a holiday. When you're directing, you have a strong sense of responsibility for others. It's exciting but exhausting, especially when you're like me: always wanting to break the rules.


Living in France while the Falklands War was going on, I felt a profound sense of shame and betrayal, just as I did by the war in Iraq. People have asked why I don't talk about that directly in my plays. Well, politics needs to be articulated in many different ways.


When the brain gets lost, it doesn't stop working. It tries to makes sense of things. It begins to speculate and guess, and that's when things open up. That's exciting.


My experience of my father's death was that it was still taboo; nobody would meet me after my father died because they didn't know what to say.


As an actor, it's much easier for me to get work in the movies because nobody knows who I am except for the work that I've done in another movie. I really enjoy that.


Haunted since the day its discovery was projected all over the world in 1994, I, like many others, have always wanted to see inside the Chauvet cave, site of the world's earliest known cave art. Quite rightly, we will never go. It is closed to the public.


I don't have what German directors call 'a concept' - a solid, fixed sense of the pattern that you should impose on the given work. I always get the feeling that I am raking up the earth rather than laying down the concrete.


I don't tend to get cast in the theatre much. People assume I come with all this baggage. But they do cast me in films. In films, I'm a nobody.


I don't recall making a conscious decision to become an actor. I just remember winning a prize at a theatre festival when I was 17 and saying: 'Oh, that's what I have to do.'


I allow people to create, but I'm also marshalling everybody, which is difficult for my creativity, as I'm like a referee. Everybody else is kicking a ball. It is very messy. From the mess, though, you refine what is there.


'Endgame' resists narrative and even thematic explanation. How you play it has to reflect this. If you decide something too much in advance, you forget the element that gives the play life - the audience.


I find all food irresistible. I have friends who live in the mountains in France. One of them sells vegetables, and to walk through her garden when everything is bursting out - it's impossible not to eat something.


I might be like a conductor, or I collect the stuff together and I do a lot of my own writing. But what is a pleasure is the whole creative thing in which we're all excavating and trying to find something.


I don't really think about a visual aspect to the work at all; I just think about making the piece. And everything that occurs visually comes out of the subject matter you are dealing with so that I find it difficult to treat the visual element as a separate entity.


I remember the fact that milk was delivered every day by a milkman. In summer, my mother would make what now seem in my middle-aged imagination the most delicious iced milkshakes.




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