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Production explores Edward's life after devastating stroke

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

moving and comic: Paul Hunter and Edward Petherbridge Hugo Glendinning

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A MOVING and comic exploration of resilience of the human spirit is brought to life in the production My Perfect Mind.

It will be performed at the Drum Theatre, Plymouth, until March 2.

Performed by Edward Petherbridge and Paul Hunter, in a production directed by Kathryn Hunter, the show blurs events from a life-changing chapter in Edward's life and moments from King Lear.

Acclaimed classical actor Edward was rehearsing for the role of King Lear when a major stroke left him barely able to move.

In the space of 24 hours, he had gone from knowing one of the greatest parts in western drama, to not even being able to move his thumb and index finger together.

As he struggled to recover, he made a startling discovery: the entire role of Lear still existed word for word in his mind.

In My Perfect Mind, Edward reflects on the remarkable coincidences which struck him between that period of his life and the story of one of Shakespeare's most complex characters as Paul Hunter plays everyone from his hospital consultant to Lear's fool.

Edward Petherbridge has had a distinguished career spanning more than 50 years on both stage and screen.

He began his tenure as part of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company in the 1960s, in which he created the iconic role of Guildenstern in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Major stage work includes Cymbeline, the Merry Wives of Windsor, Nicholas Nickleby and Twelfth Night for the RSC.

He played Gaev in the Cherry Orchard, the cardinal in the Duchess of Malfi and scooped an Olivier Award for his role as Charlie Marsden in Strange Interlude, all for the McKellen-Petherbridge Company at the NT.

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