27 June, 2015


Petherbridge, lean of limb and blessed with a speaking voice that ranges over countless octaves, has a supremely light touch, muttering his wisecracks as if apologizing for their caustic content, corralling the most oddball comment until it gets the laugh it deserves. Staring at the perilously slanted stage, he says, “We were promised a level playing field tonight.” Covering the upstage wall with sketches of Lear’s daughter, which he then douses with paint, he dismisses the whole business, saying, “It looks like a bad day at MoMA.” When the scene with Lear on the blasted heath arrives, he is perfectly capable of slipping into a bit of “Stormy Weather.” And, when one isn’t looking, he launches into Shakespeare’s verse with an authority and clarity that leaves one stunned. LIGHTING AND SOUND AMERICA (Read full review)

Petherbridge seems to have lost nothing of his acuity or charisma, only the chance to play Shakespeare’s most famous king.  That is a disappointment that My Perfect Mind seeks to remedy, offering Petherbridge snippets at least of that great role, principally Lear preparing to banish Cordelia and being reunited with her before his death. In these moments, even as unexpected and ephemeral as they are, Petherbridge glows as an actor of immense depth, intelligence and sensitivity. … 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 … To quote Robert Frost, “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” My Perfect Mind is a tribute to the long, glowing afternoon of Edward Petherbridge. EXEUNT MAGAZINE (Read full review)

The theatrical “fourth wall” is expanded and collapsed as easily as a gentleman’s umbrella as the two seasoned performers meditate on the nature of theater itself. These quirky encounters are accompanied by generous helpings of the Bard, and Petherbridge fuels his Lear with a musicality and psychological spontaneity that illuminates the potency and evergreen relevance of Shakespeare’s poetry. ETHAN KANFER: NEW YORK THEATER REVIEWS (Read full review)