(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 6/17; via Pam Green.)
Having a stroke is like going to a carnival in “My Perfect Mind,” a deceptively jolly account of a traumatic chapter in the life of the actor Edward Petherbridge that opened this week at 59E59 Theaters. Finger painting, cannonball tossing, wacky costumes, silly vaudeville sketches and a perilously sloped funhouse-style stage (with a trap door) are among the diversions on offer in this production, part of the Brits Off Broadway festival.
But all the merriment spun by the two performers here, Mr. Petherbridge and Paul Hunter, is chilled by an awareness that the mind of this play’s title (which is taken from “King Lear”) is a very fallible instrument. As Mr. Hunter explains in the opening scene, when the brain suffers trauma, “it swings around inside the head until it comes to rest in what we call the drop zone.”
And to illustrate the point, Mr. Hunter flings the previously mentioned cannonball into a crate of shattered crockery. By the way, for the occasion, Mr. Hunter has donned a white lab coat, a curly blond “Three Stooges” fright wig and a hokey German accent to portray a scientist of the cerebellum named Dr. Witznagel.