Nick: An Accidental Hero

Renee Lyons

Assembly George Square

From 01 August 2013 to 26 August 2013

Rating: *****

Review by Philip Fisher

Nick: An Accidental Hero must be one of the most emotionally charged shows currently playing in Edinburgh.

It is more likely to have audience members in tears than not and it would be hard to leave without a smile on your face.

This solo show starts unpromisingly, as it is framed by a Korean lady called Su-Yung, who acts as comic a narrator.

The true story that New Zealander Renee Lyons has written and relates, concerns Nick Chisholm, a typical Kiwi from Dunedin.

Nick is an architect in his twenties who has overcome an alcohol problem and loves his rugby. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reciprocate and he suffers a stroke, leaving the fit young man locked into a vegetative state.

In under an hour, we follow his desperately slow recovery with appearances from amongst others, his over-caring Mum Jos, rowdy rugger mate Boyd and AA colleague turned carer Liam.

However, the final recovery is aided by Nicola from England. She falls into Internet love with the paraplegic and then arrives in NZ to turn this into the real thing in time for a very happy ending.

With assistance from director Abigail Greenwood, Renee Lyons proves herself a highly adept performer who instantly distinguishes between characters and just about keeps her epic story on the right side of sentimental.

This is a marvellous piece of writing and performance which fully deserves your attention.