Sunday, 26 February 2012
All New People
Last Saturday I went to see 'All New People' at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow; a play written by and starring Zach Braff. I used to love him in Scrubs and loved his film Garden State so it was exciting to see him on stage.
There was a good buzz in the theatre as the play opened with River Dance type music... I half expected Mr Braff to paddy bar onto the stage dressed in a kilt but no, he swung out hanging from a rope instead. A powerful opening scene which was unfortunately ruined as soon as Eve Myles opened her mouth. She played a highly strung English woman, Emma, and for the first 40 minutes or so her voice was so high pitched and performance overplayed that I was worried she was going to ruin the whole play. It was a relief when Braff's character, Charlie, started to talk and when the other two arrived; Myron the fireman (Paul Hilton) and a high class prostitute, Kim (Susannah Fielding). For me the latter two provided the true comedy moments. I've read some mixed reviews of the play; some disappointed with it and others thinking it was hilarious. I thought the humour was a bit obvious at times but there were some good gags which provided a light contrast to Charlie's suicidal disposition. I liked the premise of a group of strangers being thrown together and finding comfort in random connections. And apart from Myles' shaky start I thought the acting was impressive. The insertion of screens playing out each of the characters' backstory throughout was a clever use of mixed media and added depth to the production.
However I did wonder if Braff had subconsciously tried to recreate his depressive charater in Garden State...I couldn't help draw comparisons and then got to thinking without a smart quirky female character like Sam to pull him out of himself, Charlie remained a bit half drawn. I still really liked it though and the fact Braff conducted a very charming, down to earth Q and A session afterwards made for a very pleasant theatre trip.(see rubbish quality photo at the top of the posting of him waving a microphone about). In case you're interested he tried a deep fried Mars Bar on his visit to Glasgow and he really likes Irish River Dance music...(but let's not hold that against him).