Sunday, 19 February 2012

Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

I went to my first Fringe Festival show for 2012 last night. Should We Stay Or Should We Go? is the classic story of an intercontinental relationship (played by a real life couple who are engaged to be married in April) where each half of the couple is literally from half a world away. So where should they settle down? In her home country or his? How about somewhere halfway between the two? Either way, someone is going to be missing out and some serious compromising is called for.

The show was well conceived, funny and generally work well. There were varying levels of success in the parts requiring audience participation but the couple's warmth and humour were apparent throughout. All in all, a great night out.

I saw the show with a very old friend. [Hold on - that doesn't sound too good.] I saw the show with someone I have been friends with for a very long time. (I am in no way suggesting she is very old; she wouldn't be impressed!) It seems like only a short while ago that she and I asked ourselves this very question as the couple in the show. At the end of our student days, we had similar goals: spend two years getting established in our chosen career then move to the UK for the great kiwi OE.

And then both our circumstances changed. She wanted to leave earlier than planned while I wasn't sure whether even our original timing was right. (OK, that's code for "there was a guy involved".) She left; I never made it out of the country apart from a few short trips. (The guy is long gone.) She came back to visit her parents every few years and we'd catch up briefly. "When are you coming to join me?" she would ask. It never happened.

Now, thirteen years later, I'm thrilled to have my friend back in my life after she moved back 'home' permanently a few months ago. Did it matter that I stayed while she went? Not at all! Our lives have taken on drastically different paths and she is finding her feet back in a city that has changed so much since she left but I am really enjoying us getting to know each other again at a time in my life when good friends are worth more than gold. In the meantime, there are coffees to be drunk, shows to be seen, dinners to be shared and many more years of friendship to look forward to.

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