Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

BATS Theatre, Wellington

14/02/2012 - 18/02/2012

Production Details

Dear people inWellington,

We are Brad andNancyfrom the Wellington Fringe Festival show Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

Our theatre company is called ‘Lo-Fi’.  To be honest, we just can’t be bothered with modern technology so we try to do everything in a basic, simple, lo-fi way.

We have no blog, no website, we don’t ‘tweet’.

Our sound design is music coming through an on-stage ghetto-blaster.

Our lighting design has two states: ‘lights on’ and ‘lights off’.

Our set is hand-made.

And our show?

We are a real couple.  Really we are.  Engaged even.  But as Brad is Kiwi andNancyis English a disagreement has emerged.

We can’t agree on which country to live in.

And we needWellington’s help.

We’ll tell our story, doggedly fight our corners and then the audience will vote:

EnglandorNew Zealand.

We’re gonna lay all our cards on the table and let the audience play the game.

This.  Is.  Real.  A binding referendum so we can settle this once and for all.

High stakes, high comedy, high energy – lo-fi.

Should We Stay Or Should We Go
14-18 February, 9.30pm 
Bats Theatre 

A fun show

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 16th Feb 2012

Brad’s a Kiwi andNancyis a Pom. They are engaged and to be married in April. Where are they going to live? They can’t make up their minds and the audience gets to decide. On opening night 47 wanted them to stay and 31 wanted them to go to theU.K.There are five more performances and the results will be announced (where else?) on Facebook.

With verve and plenty of good humour and some easy-going audience participation – and a spat or two as well as full-blown fight with a squashy banana – the pair present their cases. English Theatre-in Education, warm, flat beer, and the fear that their children might end up as ‘chavs’ (‘retards who think that they’re rebels and also think that their local McDonalds is a 5-star restaurant’ according to Wikipedia) are the reasons to stay here. Friends, family, soccer, and ‘Newcastle is cool’ the reasons to leave. It’s a fun show.  


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Huge fun with a genuine purpose

Review by John Smythe 15th Feb 2012

The claim that theatre can change lives has often been dismissed as an idealistic dream but Should We Stay or Should We Go may well achieve just that, not for the audiences but for its creator/ actors. Their destiny is in our hands. 

Nancy Kniveton (UK) and Brad McCormick (NZ) got engaged last October, are to be married in April (in NZ) and are unable to decide where to live after that – “for the rest of our lives!” they tell us, portentously, the better to focus our minds.

Having played out their circumstances, arguments and concerns, they will ask us to vote and after five performances they will have a result, to be posted on their Facebook Page. Rather than add the total votes the outcome will be as if it were a five test series, and will “get us one step nearer to making this decision.”

To summarise elements of their stories will not involve spoilers because the delight is in the way they stage them. Direct engagement with the audience starts the instant we enter and segues easily into non-threatening audience inter-chat and participation. Chalk is well used too, in the blackboard box that is Bats.

Brad and Nancy met Spain doing an English-speaking tour of schools for 9 months with a show that featured ‘The Ding Dong Dance’, so they draw their costume and performance styles from that. Although when Nancy delivers a didactic anti-smoking song, Brad uses its being typical of Theatre In Education in the UK as a powerful argument for staying in NZ.

Nancy’s childhood relationship with her sister is played out in contrast to the strong bond they have now and we are further enticed to empathise with her when lookalikes are picked from the audience by way of introducing us to her family (photos posted daily on their Facebook Page). The McCormicks are not given equal time.

Nancy’s attempt to audition for a Kiwi film or TV series emphasises the difficulty she would have finding work here, although her attempt at a Kiwi accent and demeanour won her a round of applause on opening night. The idea of living halfway between their two is inventively explored …

When Nancy shamelessly invokes the tragic death of a friend as a reason for not living far away, Brad counters with awful accusations about her family – which introduces us to the ‘Chav’ (check them out on Urban Dictionary), not that anyone in the family is one … yet.  

Brad’s Time Machine attempts to evoke what the future will hold – in 2020, 2030 and 2036 – if they settle in the UK. Statistics are fired at will. Jaffas and bananas are added to their (dis)respective armouries and a physical fight ensues. Kniveton and McCormick pull out all stops in presenting their show. 

The standard benefits of living in the UK or NZ are only briefly canvassed before we are asked to vote first by clap-o-meter and then by a show of hands. On opening night we were 47 in favour of NZ and 31 in favour of the UL, so the series stands at 1-0 to NZ so far.

Should We Stay or Should We Go is a unique theatrical event that is well worth being part of. It is huge fun with a genuine purpose all of us can relate to. 


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