What do Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart and Zach Braff have in common? They all hail from the Garden State of New Jersey.
New Jersey provides the setting for the play All New People, which was written by Braff and directed by Peter DuBois. A geographically isolated strip of land, Long Beach Island has a single access point from the New Jersey mainland. Heaving with tourists in the summer, the place is all but deserted during the winter months.
The action takes place in real-time (around 1 hour 40 minutes, with no interval), the location a swanky beach house in the dead of winter. The four protagonists are a diverse lot: depressed mystery man Charlie (Braff); neurotic English estate agent Emma (Torchwood‘s Eve Myles); doped-up, Shakespeare-quoting fireman Myron (Paul Hilton); and dumb blonde escort/wannabe singer Kim (Susannah Fielding).
Without giving too much away, the hilarious opening scene makes it crystal clear that Charlie has hit rock bottom. However, his plans to escape from reality are rudely interrupted by the unexpected arrival of three oddball characters who pretty much take over the beach house. Not really in the mood for company, Charlie just wishes that they’d all go away and leave him to get on with it…
All New People is extremely funny, with lots of witty one-liners and observational comedy, but it is also rather poignant. Although All New People might well be considered a star vehicle for Braff, it is in fact a well-balanced four-hander. All of the characters have a story to tell and all of the cast members shine equally throughout.
All New People has just previewed in Glasgow and Manchester and opens for a limited season at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End on Wednesday 22nd February. Given the amount of media engagements that Braff has undertaken to promote the play, it is likely to be a very hot ticket indeed. So, grab a seat quick—performances in Glasgow were a sell-out.