My Perfect Mind
11 feb, 2013 - 28 jun, 2015

My Perfect Mind

11 feb, 2013 - 28 jun, 2015

A Told by an Idiot, Young Vic and Theatre Royal Plymouth co-production


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 is a moving and comic exploration of the resilience of the human spirit through the prism of Shakespeare’s great tragedy.


"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 

‘We are thrilled, in our 22nd year, to be playing in New York with a show that was whole-heartedly developed through our fundamental beliefs in artistic collaboration, creative inventiveness and a playful approach. Edward and I look forward to bringing our own form of theatrical anarchy to the city that gave the world the Marx Brothers” Paul Hunter, Artistic Director, Told by an Idiot


Watch Edward, Paul and Kathryn discussing the show HERE

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

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

Production Download

MPM Education Pack


Theatre Royal Plymouth

14 feb, 2013 - 02 mar, 2013

Unity Theatre Liverpool

05 mar, 2013 - 09 mar, 2013

Salisbury Playhouse

19 mar, 2013 - 23 mar, 2013

Young Vic, London

03 apr, 2013 - 20 apr, 2013

Young Vic, London

02 sep, 2014 - 25 sep, 2014

Tobacco Factory, Bristol

30 sep, 2014 - 04 oct, 2014

West Yorkshire Playhouse

15 oct, 2014 - 18 oct, 2014

Unity Theatre Liverpool

21 oct, 2014 - 25 oct, 2014

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

04 nov, 2014 - 08 nov, 2014

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

11 nov, 2014 - 15 nov, 2014

Teatre Barcelona, Spain

20 nov, 2014 - 21 nov, 2014

59E59 Theaters, New York

10 jun, 2015 - 28 jun, 2015



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



The Telegraph , 17 sep, 2014

'The result is a sweet, deliberately scattershot theatrical vaudeville' 


New York Times , 25 apr, 2013

'There's nothing quite like it . . . wild and funny with a serious core'

The Times , 16 sep, 2014

'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 , 08 apr, 2013

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

The Independent , 09 apr, 2013

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

Time Out , 08 apr, 2013

'Witty dialogue with inventive physical comedy . . . (it) makes this return of a 2013 production very welcome'

The Stage , 10 sep, 2014

'Don’t miss it is my advice'

What's On Stage , 11 sep, 2014

'Extremely touching, extremely funny . . . absolutely charming. A completely delightful evening. ‘Do go’ is my message.'

Saturday Review, Radio 4 ,