an Accident a Life - Photo: Filip Van Roe

In some respects Marc Brew’s story of a car accident and its aftermath is simply told.

Brew narrates it in a casual manual, full of likes and you knows (though the subtitling gives away that these are scripted, which is an impressive discipline).

He explains how a carefree outing with friends white visiting South Africa was interrupted by a head on collision that left him paralysed from the waist down. From there, we are taken through his treatment, his rehabilitation, and his homecoming to his native Australia.

It is recited seemingly honestly, dealing with the horrible nature of even steps forward – such as the alien like removal of breathing support – and the impact on how he is perceived by others.

For us, that perception is shaped by a series of bold visual set pieces on stage, centred on a full size car but also using giant screens and live video relay. A crash test dummy drops suddenly from the sky. A bed turns into an airplane, turns into a bath. An extended sequence has the sounds of Toto blasted, presumably ironically, into the auditorium.

Together with director Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Brew has created a show that is visually arresting in places, and has many types of movement – the car suspended, twirling in mid air; screens parting and coming together; videos panning through exotic countryside – that contrast viciously with the limits imposed on Brew by the accident.

  • an Accident / a Life continues at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday, May 25, 2024.