Closed 1h 30m
My Perfect Mind
Midtown E
75

My Perfect Mind NYC Reviews and Tickets

75%
(1 Review)
Positive
100%
Mixed
0%
Negative
0%
Members say
Quirky, Ambitious, Well acted, Clever, Dizzying

About the Show

Produced by the Young Vic and part of 59E59's "Brits Off Broadway" Festival, 'My Perfect Mind' follows actor Edward Petherbridge, who, cast as King Lear, suffers a stroke in rehearsal that leaves him barely able to move.

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Member Reviews (1)

75
Ambitious, Well acted, Dizzying, Quirky, Clever

See it if you enjoy British clowning; some gags are very broad. I preferred Shakepearean parts. Lots of confusing switches. Inspiring story of rehab.

Don't see it if you want a coherent plotline. MPM had come highly recommended, but I found it disappointing. Enjoyable, but not enlightening. Read more

Critic Reviews (55)

June 17th, 2015

"Having a stroke is like going to a carnival in 'My Perfect Mind,' the deceptively jolly account of a traumatic chapter in the life of the actor Edward Petherbridge...There’s cathartic method within the music-hall madness. 'My Perfect Mind' uses the stuff of slapstick to raise and wrestle with a terror that lurks in us all...Mr. Petherbridge does what actors have always done, turning handicaps into weapons to conquer an audience."
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June 16th, 2015

"'My Perfect Mind' gets its zing from its insouciant attitude to the lead actor's stroke; it gets its literary scope from frequent flights into Shakespeare's play, the text itself an antidote to frailty. It's that rare thing, a play about the terrors to come that somehow operates on a delightful level. Like Lear's own Fool, it makes us laugh at the storm."
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June 16th, 2015

"Petherbridge's extraordinary performance is reason enough to flock to the theater, but the autobiographical nature of the story, together with a ridiculously funny performance by his costar, Paul Hunter, adds a fascinating dimension to this quite literally off-kilter story...With all its twists, turns, and contortions, 'My Perfect Mind' is a delightfully entertaining brainteaser."
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June 18th, 2015

"Witty, wild, wonderful and thoroughly entertaining, this expertly crafted play is a must-see for audiences...This is a comedy with serious undertones...While there are moments of complete absurdity, 'My Perfect Mind' is also a thoughtful, poignant story that you will remember long after Petheridge and Hunter take their final bows."
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June 22nd, 2015

"'My Perfect Mind' is an exceptionally tricky entertainment, an evening of show business comedy that insinuates by degrees its message of endurance and survival, leaving one surprised to be so moved. Its story is of man's encounter with mortality, but every second of it teems with laughter and life."
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June 16th, 2015

"The pair cavorts through the play that is part autobiography and part zany romp, interspersed with short scenes from 'King Lear.' These scenes are performed with such eloquence that even if you’ve forsworn seeing yet another production of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, you will happily stand in line for tickets should Mr. Petherbridge take on the role in earnest. But for now, there is this joyous marvel of a work. The Inca lament for the dead sun god Atahualpa alone is worth the price of admission."
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June 19th, 2015

"Esteemed actors Edward Petherbridge and Paul Hunter blow the roof off the house with their whirlwind of talent and humor... There were times where I lost track of what was going on, but with their pacing and ease of communication it is clear there is a purpose to each and every component. As a result, my occasional confusion didn't detract from the entertainment value or deeper meanings they convey. "
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May 11th, 2015

"'My Perfect Mind' is no tragedy but gloriously irreverent and immense fun to watch. It combines a medley of set pieces from 'Lear,' theatrical shoptalk, and nuggets of Petherbridge's own incredible theater journey...This two-hander is a must-see for Shakespeare enthusiasts."
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June 17th, 2015

"The production contains the hallmark of a great British production: a biting sense of humor...Every time the silliness is played up, the way 'King Lear' echoes Petherbridge’s own life is played down, preventing the story from veering into schmaltz...Theatre is a tough business, fraught with competition, but 'My Perfect Mind' shows the interdependencies, the people and the relationships, that make the stage a place we all come together to 'see better.'"
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June 21st, 2015

"'My Perfect Mind' is a perfect diamond in the rough, an opportunity to see one of Britain’s greatest living actors in a mesmerizing, funny, whip-smart and thoroughly human performance, a meditation on life and acting – also Lear – directed by another great British actress, Kathryn Hunter."
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June 16th, 2015

"This is an uplifting, fun production. Petherbridge takes the ball and runs after Hunter tosses it to him. Their seamless and relaxed interchanges remind us that this encomium to the power of the mind reveals grace despite stress; it reveals a new way to comprehend the mind’s shattering delicacy and its redemptive powers. Unlike glass, the mind is capable of regrowing or growing new pathways toward health. At the end of 'My Perfect Mind', Petherbridge has roundly proven it."
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June 17th, 2015

"'My Perfect Mind' is inspired silliness, lightly masking a warm chewy center of love for the theater and a determination to return to it. The show avoids the sentimental revelations that make many autobiographical shows feel like an extended psychoanalyst’s session. Instead it is a celebration, a joy to watch and be part of."
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June 16th, 2015

"It’s difficult not to be delighted by this thoroughly self-conscious theatrical fantasia about theater, about acting as living and playing...so many threads are introduced throughout the performance that it’s impossible to tie them all up without making the show 'theatrical,' and thereby breaking with the knowing, free flowing, whimsical style of the piece. But 'My Perfect Mind' is such fun, the details of the performances so lovely, that the absence of a perfect conclusion hardly matters."
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June 16th, 2015

"Paul Hunter is a one-man repertory company...An actor’s life, be he a stroke victim or no, is a perilous one and it so very easy to lose one’s footing. But when the actor is Edward Petherbridge it simply does not apply. He is charm and grace personified. Like another great Shakespearean character, age cannot wither him, nor custom stale his infinite variety."
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June 21st, 2015

"'My Perfect Mind' is an extraordinary play co- starring two incredible actors, Edward Petherbridge and Paul Hunter, the latter dazzling at a frenetic pace...There were so many moments of wisdom, references and humor, moving me in a great way, beyond words."
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June 21st, 2015

"Despite its serious subject matter, 'My Perfect Mind' is a lively and spirited show, full of clowning, but still manages to be both moving and thought provoking...By the end, you’ve seen a farce, a commentary on a life spent in the theater, an autobiography of a man who’s lived a fascinating life, and a story of trauma and recovery all rolled into one."
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September 12th, 2014

"Although towards the end things seem to become a bit disjointed and the energy begins to dissipate slightly, the production as a whole is a solid one and it is also very touching due to its autobiographical nature...'My Perfect Mind' offers the audience the rare opportunity to take a peek inside the mind of an actor."
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March 2nd, 2013

"Petherbridge plays the consummate classical actor with aplomb, and Hunter is mesmerizing: exquisitely mercurial, he’s the perfect foil as well as The Fool, and it’s largely due to the infectious charm and comedic brilliance of his many-faceted performance that the piece can be forgiven much of its self-indulgent luvviness...that 'My Perfect Mind' manages to be both poignant and honest about aging and illness, and the precarious nature of recovery."
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April 14th, 2013

"All this, however, is handled with the most enormous sense of folly...For all it’s foolish, it’s hugely tender and for such a multi-faceted, fragmented show, it also moves with immense fluidity – a real credit to Kathryn Hunter’s keen-eyed direction. But it’s the layers of thought and the lightness of touch that makes 'My Perfect Mind' such an exquisite treat of a show."
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April 7th, 2013

"The entire show gurgles with merriment as it skewers luvvydom, pokes fun at conceptual art and offers tongue-in-cheek advice to theatre-makers on how to treat the audience...The theatrical in-jokes would wear thin, were it not for the fact that Petherbridge's mixture of bravado and frailty brings real heart to the enterprise...A funny, moving reminder that however much we aspire to be the king, we are all fools in one way or another."
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February 18th, 2014

"There is an earnest intent behind ‘My Perfect Mind’s' madcap cocktail of memory and imagination, but its celebration of a life in the theatre is the very antithesis of stuffy luvvie backslapping. Spry as he is, odds are this will be Petherbridge’s last great role, but talk about a blaze of glory."
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April 9th, 2013

"It's a gently hilarious, intermittently (and understatedly) haunting double-act piece which plays sometimes daft, sometimes pointed variations on the Lear/Fool dynamic and is superbly directed...Through the luvvie-guying laughter, there is the always the chance of some situation arising that will crystallise a slightly disconcerting connection with Shakespeare's tragedy and balance the exquisite lightness of the show with a sudden intimation of depth."
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April 8th, 2013

"Less satisfying and less profound than the show I had expected... Less profound, almost certainly: that the neurological landscape takes a distinct second place to the biographical gives us less chance to identify, to feel ourselves on the inside together with Petherbridge. Less satisfying, perhaps not: he is an immensely personable actor, and the style of the piece gives him extensive rein for asides and digressions which are almost always wryly self-deprecating... It would have been possible to choose less trivial material on the subject."
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April 8th, 2013

"Charming, sometimes very funny and occasionally bizarre...There are moments where the show edges towards being a parody of a high-concept dramatic provocation. Yet it is much more than that, suggesting the way performers are haunted — not just by the achievements of their predecessors but by ghostly intimations of where their own careers might have led. It’s a celebration of theatre’s special capacity to 'stab at the truth' in a way that seems difficult in real life."
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September 16th, 2014

"Edward Petherbridge’s greatest artistic achievement may well be this invigoratingly odd account, first seen here last year, of his doomed attempt to play 'King Lear'."
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September 11th, 2014

"Though I found the play really funny and exciting, there were a few who were a little baffled. Perhaps the pace was too fast for them, perhaps the lack of linear structure to the plot too confusing. I liked the obscurity as it demonstrates how the brain can play tricks. The vast majority of us though were in hysterics. 'My Perfect Mind' is an incredibly funny play and its message of the resilience of the human spirit is an important one that is beautifully made."
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September 11th, 2014

"Strange, and strangely beguiling, 90-minute vaudeville of King Lear...Don't miss it, is my advice, though you'll enjoy it all the more if you love your theatre history."
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September 10th, 2014

"It is a wonderfully zany confection that mixes 'cold scientific fact' with fiction, framed as a lecture by a mad German professor who warns that 'none of it is real'...This is a gleeful ninety minutes that is largely laughter, a lot of it theatrical in-jokes but behind it a reminder of the frailties of age and a touching picture of recovery."
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September 10th, 2014

"'My Perfect Mind' wonderfully exemplifies the nature of one’s own reality and truth, depends on individual perceptions of and reactions to external events and therefore determines which character one decides to be- the self, the king, the fool or all three. Edward Petherbridge gets his magic in the end and is King Lear but it’s a magic fashioned and derived from the detritus of a tragic event that could have turned out differently if other perceptions and choices were made."
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October 2nd, 2014

"If you like your comedy slapstick and silly, this is the show for you. As an avid lover of theatrical gossip and biography I lapped up' My Perfect Mind'. What those who aren't theatrical junkies make of it is harder to tell. The more you know about the history of the National and RSC, the more you get from it."
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September 12th, 2014

"This fragile and utterly madcap narrative is held together with control and cohesion...Theatre steps up as the place where any sense of instability can be explored and rationalised."
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September 11th, 2014

"It’s all beautifully patched together...There are lots of acting in-jokes, a great deal of exposing the world behind the theatrical green curtain, and an interesting look into the actor’s psyche and motivation. But just when it looks like it’s getting bogged down in its clever-cleverness, slipping into being 'sloppy and pretentious', which, as Petherbridge notes on two occasions, are often the same thing, it snaps back with a comic flourish."
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April 11th, 2013

"Playful, funny and charming, 'My Perfect Mind' is characterised by the obvious affection between the two actors. Structurally it never really finds an identity but it's probably best seen as a very entertaining, moving dip into chaos, with some light at the end of the tunnel."
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September 17th, 2014

"This is a great showcase for these talents and a fascinating insight, too, into the mind of a great, all too often under-appreciated, actor who clearly refuses to go gently into that good night. The piece is very funny, even if it makes no bones about the fact we are all heading, like Lear, towards our own heaths and our own private struggles to maintain 'perfect minds.'”
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September 24th, 2014

"About mid-way through the wacky format and knowing style begin to wear thin and we are in need of some emotional depth to make us care about this aging actor...It’s impressive and effective. We feel his vulnerability and turmoil as he flashes back to a not entirely blissful childhood, with a mother also crippled by a stroke, and his first tentative steps on stage. In the end, sitting next to Hunter, utterly himself, we feel we know him and even love him."
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October 22nd, 2014

"If 'My Perfect Mind' was one of the finest plays to come to Liverpool, then it doesn’t just stand on the shoulders of giants, it whispers down its ears and points the way forward. Spellbinding!"
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October 22nd, 2014

"This is a larger than life show, achingly funny at times, and brings together all that a night out at the theatre should be. With a clever script and set design and two wonderful actors that lead you through ninety minutes of sheer joy and merriment, 'My Perfect Mind' is a must see."
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September 11th, 2014

"'My Perfect Mind' is an inspired fusion of styles, and brings a light but inventive touch to a story that should have been anything but funny. Instead, it is hilarious. It also achieves moments of real depth...'My Perfect Mind' achieves the perfect balance, where the glory of playing the King comes with the inevitable casting as the Fool."
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November 4th, 2014

"Sometimes it is not too clear where it is going. It only works for an audience entranced by theatre, who understands British theatre and is intrigued by its main players and would love to know more about the ephemera of being a strolling player...But for an audience expecting a simple good night out, I am not so sure...Petherbridge, the man in front of us on the the stage, sometimes mumbles his allusions, his asides, his anecdotes to the point of my straining to get the gist of what he is saying."
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April 10th, 2013

"This madcap mixture of the seemingly spontaneous and improvised gives 'My Perfect Mind' its special pull, while tantalising excerpts from Lear hint at what we have missed. That, a certain bravery, and an irreverent modesty. The piece finishes appropriately in understatement, Petherbridge telling another anecdote and noting that we all end in 'primeval sludge' - absurdism, maybe, but at its sweetest and best."
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November 5th, 2014

"Epically humorous and uncompromisingly sincere...Petherbridge’s story shone brightly on stage, as he played himself and the situation so vividly, it appeared we were witnessing the event real-time. His roaring delivery of speeches and then his sweet old-man like voice provided us with an emotional journey of discovery and recovery. We were left wishing we could hear Edward perform 'King Lear' for real."
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April 28th, 2013

"The play is simple (two actors playing dozens of parts with the assistance of mundane props) yet difficult to describe. It’s free association, perfectly structured, executed and improvised, through the imagination, emotions, memories and images of a perfect mind. Freud without the couch, the doctor or the breaks."
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November 1st, 2014

"If there was ever proof needed that William Shakespeare can speak to audiences today then Kathryn Hunter’s clever, beautiful and inspired 'My Perfect Mind' is it...Offers an insight into the art of an actor: to share that pain you have to feel it. Both actors offer a masterclass in timing: offers just enough time for reflection."
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November 12th, 2014

"Petherbridge – who is breath-takingly, effortlessly brilliant – plays himself and Paul Hunter – physically and stylistically the perfect foil, the rough with the smooth – plays everything from his doctor to his mother, his brother to Olivier...The scenes of his frustration at his illness and Lear’s madness combined are heart-breaking. At other times it is tender and poignant as it explores the fragility of life. It is also screamingly funny."
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October 2nd, 2014

"There were no belly laughs, but a satisfying combination of wit, invention and actorly skill gave the audience food for thought as well as a refracted vision of one of Shakespeare's best plays. 'Perfect Mind' is a tribute to the power of memory and human resourcefulness. The audience were with them all the way, and the players took three curtain calls."
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September 1st, 2014

"The piece doesn’t truly manage to be hugely more than the sum of its parts, but the parts are so lovely that we don’t really mind...A unique piece, which starts oddly, ends oddly, and is quite odd in the middle. Well worth a look for those of an introspective inclination and in the mood for something rather off the beaten path. "
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September 9th, 2014

"'My Perfect Mind' is an odd and interesting piece and at times it is very very funny...It's a bit hard to follow...At ninety minutes the piece is too long, but it's inventive and funny, it's beautifully directed and older audiences will get the allusions."
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October 1st, 2014

"This play is unusual and brave, often disconcerting but also laugh-out-loud funny. The material about growing older is truly moving and is thought-provokingly cut together with key scenes from King Lear...It took a while for it to recover from that shaky start, but by the end I was won over."
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March 20th, 2013

"Whilst I am a Lear fan, some of the passages seemed simply thrown in for the sake of it...A heart rendering story. In the middle of the play Hunter asks Petherbridge to wiggle his fingers, something he cannot to do. At the very end of the play, Hunter asks Petherbridge to wiggle his fingers, and he gladly shows he can. The truth of his recovery is what makes this production so endearing. The rapturous applause was greatly deserved."
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April 11th, 2014

"'My Perfect Mind' is a unique and wonderful production...Through the exploration of Shakespeare’s 'King Lear', Petherbridge and Hunter reflect a struggle between what the body is able to do versus the power of the mind...A totally engaging production, constantly allowing the audience to feed off their instant creativity. A wonderful piece filled with charm, laughter and fun."
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November 12th, 2014

"'My Perfect Mind' manages to be both brilliantly inventive and old-fashioned hilarious at the same time...Are we are seeing a consummate actor playing himself or being himself? Decide for yourself but above all do not miss this extraordinary performance. The final bows had the audience on their feet. Run and grab your ticket."
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November 6th, 2014

"There’s a casual spontaneousness about the whole show; yet it runs like clockwork and you sense that even the most outrageous adlibs have been carefully honed. It’s all marvellous, madly brilliant stuff; almost meaningless to someone who’s never been to the theatre, but an absolute treat to those of us who can’t keep out of them."
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September 19th, 2014

"An exquisite meditation on Shakespeare, and the mind’s ability to renew itself...I was anticipating this show to be a luvvie-style triumph-over-adversity misery memoir. It’s much richer, quirkier and, above all, more theatrical than that...What this piece poses is the question of who are we if not the sum of all our experiences, challenges and influences, of the various roles we are called to play, different in every situation, some of them more truthful than others?"
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April 19th, 2013

"‘My Perfect Mind’ is a touching yet riotous account of the life of Edward Petherbridge...Pretty harrowing stuff, yet ‘My Perfect Mind’ bypasses the violins and heads elsewhere. Loaded with dry, witty asides, the consistently endearing Petherbridge is accompanied by the hyped-up capers of co-star Paul Hunter, who leaps from dodgy accent to dodgy accent with engaging gusto."
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February 21st, 2013

"A highly entertaining and absorbing portrayal of one man’s journey from the back streets of Bradford through the jaws of immobility to today...This is so enjoyable I’m going back next week – intrigued to see how much is actually ad-libbed and how much carefully scripted."
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