theater: All New People

Friday 17th Feb, R&L took us to the Theater :-)

All New People” was written, directed and currently starring Zach Braff (the bloke from Scrubs) and has become the highest-grossing drama of all time at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow.

It’s the dead of winter and the summer vacation getaway of Long Beach, New Jersey is desolate and blanketed in snow. Charlie is 35, heartbroken and just wants some time away from the rest of the world. The island ghost town seems to be the perfect escape until his solitude is interrupted by a motley parade of misfits who show up and change his plans. A hired beauty, the townie fireman and an eccentric British real estate agent desperately trying to stay in the country suddenly find themselves tangled together in a beach house where the mood is anything but sunny.

This angst-fuelled comedy opens with Charlie (Zach) about to kill himself.  This leaves him with the first of many dilemmas, how to put out your last cigaret when you are standing on a chair with a noose around your neck.

“Unfortunately” he is interrupted when Emma (Eve Myles from Torchwood) an absent minded real estate agent comes in expecting the place to be empty and ready for a viewing she has.  While Charlie tries to get rid of the talkative Emma she is joined by her firefighter buddy Myron (Paul Hilton) to come assess the situation. Later on, the high-priced escort Kim (Susannah Fielding) arrives, courtesy of one of Charlie’s friends.

While they try to talk Charlie out of killing himself we gradually find out more about each of them both through the action on stage and four video flash-backs which fill in some back story about them.

I thought this use of video was really clever, not only the way it was done technically but also because it gave us close ups of the actors on stage giving another dimension to what was going on as well as asking more questions and answering some.  It was a very clever way to intersperse the live action with plot details which otherwise would be very cumbersome to interject.

The play was extremely funny in parts and didn’t lag or slow down at any point.  The performances were excellent and the technical production flawless (apart from one light that fell down back stage at one point).  A great night out.

All New People following its showings in Manchester and Glasgow is now on at the Duke of York Theater until April.

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