My Perfect Mind, now playing at the Young Vic until 27 September, has received a fresh crop of outstanding reviews (4 and 5 Stars).
|Photo by Tristram Kenton|
As [Petherbridge] approaches his 80th birthday, he has acquired a tremendous sense of majesty that makes him a magnetic stage presence: I sincerely hope he may yet get to play Lear and deliver the lines that remain so stubbornly in his head.
In the meantime, 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.
Telegraph, 17 September (Read full review)
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, with Paul Hunter as Olivier offering menacing, gnomic advice to young actors one of many highlights. It also achieves moments of real depth, not least when Petherbridge repeats Inca chants from his role in Peter Schaffer’s landmark The Royal Hunt of the Sun. For a brief moment the legendary 1964 production flickers back to life before our eyes. My Perfect Mind achieves the perfect balance, where the glory of playing the King comes with the inevitable casting as the Fool.
Londonist, 11 September (Read full review)
Don’t miss it, is my advice … The show is peppered with such carefree erudition and plenty of jibes about the National and the RSC, the greatness of Olivier, even the slapdash pretentiousness of this show itself; EP’s ghostly daubs on the back panel he describes as ‘a bad day at Tate Modern’ and the fashionably sloping truckle stage is derided as often as it is cleverly negotiated. What amazed me at the Young Vic last night was how a packed, and predominantly young, audience lapped it all up, even the nostalgic recherché-ness of EP’s acidulous reminiscence.
WhatsOnStage, 11 September (Read full review)
Edward Petherbridge’s greatest claim to worldwide fame comes from playing Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey for the BBC in the 1980s. His greatest artistic achievement, though, may well be this invigoratingly odd account, first seen here last year, of his doomed attempt to play King Lear.
This mix of memory play, acting masterclass, comedy lecture and double act has a playful charm to match its sense of investigation. … It’s also full of ironies and symmetries, running gags and compassion as it apes the brain's way of threading together the past and the present. There’s nothing quite like it.
The Times, 15 September (Read full review - subscription only)
Edward Petherbridge is perfectly cast as Edward Petherbridge – giving a heightened portrayal of himself with a nifty nonchalance that neatly underpins the play’s abundance of absurdity with deliciously dry digressions. … Both actors are adorable and spark off each other in style, creating flashes of brilliance that light up the jaunty rake.
Gay Times, 10 September (Read full review)
The actors negotiate their way around the physically challenging set well – especially Petherbridge who is now 78 years old. Various covered objects set near to the wall of the theatre come into play later on during one of King Lear’s most powerful speeches. The stories told by Petherbridge are fascinating – we are taken through his childhood in Bradford where his ancestors moved from Devon, told of how his mother suffered a stroke while she was days away from giving birth to Edward and Petherbridge re-enacts a talent show he entered as a young boy. The walk down memory lane provides Petherbridge with the opportunity to act out some of the more well-known scenes from King Lear.
Broadway World, 12 September (Read full review)
Artistic autobiography, entertaining anecdotes, lashings of well-spoken Shakespeare, meta-theatrical commentary and the opportunity to spend 90 minutes in the company of one of the most charming of veteran actors, all filtered through inventive verbal and physical clowning, make this return of a 2013 production (on its way to a national tour) very welcome.
The Stage, 10 September (Read full review)
My Perfect Mind is a love letter to Shakespeare, and to the theatre, with scenes from Lear beautifully interspaced around the narrative, perfectly echoing the emotion or action happening. The energy that Petherdbridge brings to the stage at 78 is astounding, and he seems just as truthful and alive as Lear as he does camping it up to play an exaggerated version of him self. Supported gamely by Hunter playing every other role, the pair have developed a wisecracking, side splitting to-and-fro which is at times as heartbreaking as it is hilarious.
The Public Reviews, 10 September (Read full review)
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. The play’s a great teacher and has some wonderful comic moments and is a nice complement to the Young Vic’s main house show, A Streetcar Named Desire, where the longing for a different kind of magic hyper reality has disastrous consequences.
Theatre Bubble, 10 September (Read full review)
See also the wonderful ‘vox pops’ recorded at the Young Vic and posted on YouTube: