Review: All New People - King's Theatre, Glasgow

All New People

Wednesday 15th February: Leaving his scrubs behind him, Zach Braff is currently making his UK acting debut in his own play, All New People, directed by Peter DuBois.Best known for his portrayal of Dr John ‘J.D.’ Dorian in Scrubs, Braff has been making a name for himself recently by writing and starring in his own work both on stage and screen (Garden State).

As the music opening the play filled the auditorium, which to us native Scots sounds suspiciously like the local tartan shop on acid, and a single spotlight appeared on Braff’s face it was clear from the outset that this play has much deeper and darker layers than the “Sensationally funny” tagline on the poster would have you believe. With four characters that have rich, complex stories and are thrown together in the most unlikely of circumstances, the play is fast-paced with witty one-liners and swift changes in emotion that keep the audience on their toes.

The opening scene of the play oozes misery and desperation with Braff portraying the hopelessness felt by the mysterious Charlie with depth and ease. Braff switches between blank resignation and furious frustration in moments in a portrayal that’s heartfelt.

As the seemingly scatter-brained Brit Emma, Eve Myles bursts through the door of the beautifully designed beach house set and sets the stage alight. Her effervescent energy, polarising emotions and sharp one-liners create a brilliant character reminiscent of Edina in Absolutely Fabulous. Paul Hilton’s bizarre fireman, Myron, is a far cry from the shining heroic fireman image but Hilton captures Myron’s hidden intelligence well and is striking performing Shylock’s monologue from Merchant of Venice. Completing the odd beach house family is Susannah Fielding as surprise present, prostitute Kim. Fielding delivers Kim’s outrageous tales with superb comedic timing.

All New People is laugh out loud funny but fails to deliver on some of its early promise. There is no neat and tidy ending, like those we have become accustomed to on screen, but that is a better representation of life. By putting modern life under the microscope and pointing out the loneliness that pervades society today, in spite of our 24/7 connectivity, All New People is thought-provoking and the madcap capers on stage ensure this is a memorable night out.

All New People is at the King’s Theatre until 18th February ahead of a 10 week engagement at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London.

Until 18th February eves 7.30pm Sat mats 2.30pm
Box Office 0844 871 7648 (Bkg fee) (bkg fee)