Originally produced by Told by an Idiot, the Young Vic and Theatre Royal Plymouth. 

Our universally acclaimed production of My Perfect Mind toured the UK in both 2013 and 2014, and then transferred to Teatre Barcelona in November 2014, and 59E59 Theaters New York in June 2015. The production played in New York as part of 59E59's Brits Off Broadway season. 

Acclaimed classical actor Edward Petherbridge was cast as King Lear, when on the second day of rehearsals he suffered a stroke that left him barely able to move. As he struggled to recover Edward made a discovery: the entire role of Lear still existed word for word in his mind. From being on the brink of playing one of Shakespeare’s most revered roles, to lying in a hospital bed surrounded by doctors, Edward had never imagined what tragedies and comedies lay in store for him.

Directed by award-winning Kathryn Hunter and performed by Edward Petherbridge and Paul Hunter, this was a moving and comic exploration of the resilience of the human spirit through the prism of Shakespeare’s great tragedy.



★★★★★ 'Very funny . . . My Perfect Mind is a show unlike any other. This Lear will blow your mind' - The Telegraph

'The result is a sweet, deliberately scattershot theatrical vaudeville' - New York Times

★★★★ 'There's nothing quite like it . . . wild and funny with a serious core' - The Times

★★★★ 'Told by an Idiot's My Perfect Mind is an exquisite piece of tomfoolery . . . it is infected by gleeful madness. The entire show gurgles with merriment.' - The Guardian

★★★★ 'A gently hilarious, intermittently (and understatedly) haunting double-act piece ... superbly directed by Kathryn Hunter' - The Independent

★★★★ 'rampant fourth wall breaking... its celebration of a life in the theatre is the very antithesis of stuffy luvvie backslapping' - TimeOut

'Don’t miss it is my advice' - WhatsOnStage

"This extraordinary story seems like the invention of a daring playwright. Only it happens to be true. It is told by actors - only this time the pivotal role is played by the unique real-life person who lived and survived this terrible ordeal. To blend the real and the invented into one whole, that at every moment rings true, is an impossible challenge. Edward Petherbridge, Paul Hunter and Kathryn Hunter, their director, have made it alive, very funny and heart-wrenching." Peter Brook on My Perfect Mind 

"This show about not playing King Lear is a unique treat: a wondrous mosaic of a great actor's self-analysis, his talents for vaudeville and tragedy, his wisdom and his passion. En route, he illuminates Shakespeare and as in all the best theatre, leaves us moved, shifted into a world we could not have imagined unless he had led us there." Ian McKellen on My Perfect Mind 



Created by Told by an Idiot

Performers: Paul HunterEdward Petherbridge

Directed by Kathryn Hunter

Associate Director Mia Theil Have

Designed by Michael Vale

Lighting Design by Alex Wardle

Sound Design by Gregory Clarke


Tour Dates


14 February - 2 March          Theatre Royal Plymouth

5 - 9 March                                   Unity Theatre, Liverpool

19 - 23 March                             Salisbury Playhouse

3 - 20 April                                   Young Vic, London



2 - 25 September                        Young Vic, London

30 September - 4 October    Tobacco Factory, Bristol

15 - 18 October                           West Yorkshire Playhouse

21 - 25 October                           Unity Theatre, Liverpool

4 - 8 November                            Birmingham Repertory Theatre

11 - 15 November                       Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

20 - 21 November                       Teatre Barcelona, Spain



10 - 28 June                                     59E59 Theaters, New York

                                                                 The New York transfer of My Perfect Mind was supported by British Airways



4 October                                          Jinxi Ancient Town Art Festival, China (screening)

                                                                 Paul Hunter interview for Jinxi Festival