A Scar is Born by Eric Nicol

A Scar is BornNicol, Eric. A Scar is Born. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1968.

Completed: 2 September 2010

This is one of four Nicol books I picked up on a recent trip to Toronto.  The book details Nicol’s misadventures when his successful Canadian play “Like Father, Like Fun” is transplanted to Broadway.  The play, now know as “A Minor Adjustment” opened on October 6,1967 and closed on October 7, 1967 after only three performances.  A Scar is Born is Nicol’s account of his 7 weeks in New York for the production of the play.

Not one of the more humours works by Nicol.  In many ways it came across as therapy.  Nicol seems to be dealing with the failure of the play in the U.S. by writing about the experience.  Since the play was produced in 1967 and the book published in 1968, I got the sense that the whole thing was still a bit to fresh.  A scar may well have been born as the result of the play but the healing was not yet complete.

For myself, the most interesting line in the book was his comment on the state of theatre in New York and in general.  “Theatre is dying of hardening of the artiness.”  This is a classic Nicol line.

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