In A Piece of My Mind, Nichols wittily transforms writer’s block into a meta-farce, the story of a frustrated playwright that is written and lived and performed at the same time.
Ted Forrest is the playwright within the play, who has retired to the countryside to write a novel. He can’t get past rewriting the first page, and is tormented by the astronomical success of his former protégé Miles Whittier, whose plays have taken the world completely by storm while Ted’s languish unnoticed in small theatres and close early.
But as he goes along he turns his frustrations into a playful and hilariously self-aware drama about creativity and family, woven of flashbacks and theatre reviews and inevitable farce. Actors step out of their parts, complain they haven’t had enough time for a costume change, or refuse to be killed off as Ted is driven to despair by the failure of his creation. A Piece of My Mind is a masterful feat of theatrical irony and knowingness as well as a heartfelt portrait of jealousy and disappointment.
A Piece of My Mind was first performed in 1987 at the Apollo Theatre, London.