Dancer paralysed in crash humbled to inspire others

A ballet dancer left paralysed after a head-on crash which killed three of his friends said being a role model to emerging disabled artists was "really humbling".

In 1997 Marc Brew was 20 when he suffered a spinal injury in South Africa, after the car he was travelling in was hit by a drunk driver.

Over the past three months he has been touring Europe performing his new solo show which tells the story of his crash.

As part of the Norwich and Norfolk Festival, an Accident / a Life is being staged at Norwich Theatre Royal on Friday and Saturday.

Mr Brew said a key part of the show explored the moment he went from "ballet dancer to paraplegic in a split second".

"I was dancing around the world, my dreams were coming true and then a drunk driver hit us and my life changed," he said.

"I had to realise what dance meant to me and it was about being able to express myself through movement and I could still do that but it was different."

Mr Brew's show has been performed in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Scotland.

Stephen Crocker, the chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, said it was "vital for the theatre sector" that disabled artists like Mr Brew were still able to perform.

"There has been so much good work done around disability equality for many years but we've a longer way to go," he said.

"It's about people with disabilities coming to a show like this and seeing their stories represented – that's the fundamental change we need to start making in the sector."

Mr Brew added: "To be in a position where I can be showing my work and be on these main stages as a professional disabled artist, and other emerging disabled artists can now see that as a potential role model for them to look at their own career and pathways to achieving - that is really humbling for me."

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