Sunday, March 03, 2013

My Perfect Mind

No I'm not boasting. My mind can be described as many things but "perfect" probably isn't one of them. In fact, feel free to insert your own adjective for the state of my mind anytime you wish.

No - the "My Perfect Mind" to which I refer is the title of the brand new piece of theatre that Mrs The Millbrooker, Frankenkeith and I went to see last night at Plymouth's Drum Theatre.

Naturally I have no photos of the play itself, but I did snap a quick one of the set before curtain up.

The outing came about because Frankenkeith saw the show earlier in the week and loved it so much he wanted to share it and see it again. We were more than happy to oblige what with tickets being a snip at £13 full price and £9 for concessions.

I'm going to make no attempt to describe the play/show/piece (use whatever description you will - it's almost indefinable.) It's uproariously funny whilst being simultaneously deeply personal for writer and performer Edward Petherbridge, a distinguished name in theatre, indeed!

The basis of the piece is the true story that Petherbridge was booked to play King Lear in New Zealand seven years ago when he suffered a catastrophic stroke. During his recovery he found himself unable to remember anything except the script of Lear. The play wanders all through his mind, his life and his recovery. How can that be "uproariously funny"? Trust me, it is.

But it is so much more than "funny" - the depth of trust and "permission" between the two actors is a wondrous thing; the poignant moments and the times of sheer anger and frustration are truly affecting. All woven together in a patchwork of clowning, tomfoolery, knowingly OTT theatricality and delightful anecdote. What's even better is that it treats its audience as intelligent and never, ever, talks down. And, really, you need know nothing at all about Shakespeare, Lear, the theatre or anything else to be richly rewarded from seeing this play.

I urge anyone and everyone to seek out tickets for the short tour that this play is making at the moment; I'm only sad that we caught its last night in Plymouth because I would have gone again. And again. I love the theatre, I've been attending shows and plays all of my adult life and I can't recall anything quite so wonderful as that which I was privileged to witness last night.

Tour dates are below - if it's coming within a hundred miles of you - beg, borrow, steal a ticket. You won't be disappointed. My grateful thanks to Frankenkeith for telling us about it.

05th to 09th March: Unity Theatre, Liverpool

19th to 23rd March: Salberg Studio, Salisbury Playhouse

03rd to 20th April:Young Vic, London (The Maria)

publicity photos shamelessly nicked from

1 comment:

Mrs TheMillbrooker said...

My beloved has an occasional tendency towards hyperbole, but don't be misled into thinking this posting exaggerates. I've never seen a piece of theatre that has been as moving and thought-provoking without losing its sense of humour. I would love to see it again and can't recommend it too highly.