The debut show of Harry Melling, who started his career as Dudley Dursley of Harry Potter, is incredible. I will admit that when I sat down, staring at the netting box in front of me I was a bit dubious. However, as the play started with explosive energy I knew that this was going to be something special.
Peddling is a play following the life of a 19 year old door-to-door salesman, working as part of a young offenders scheme. He wakes up in a field without any recollection as to who he is or how he got there, and takes you on a journey to retrace his steps.
Melling’s performance was exceptional. Given the stereotype of young offenders being uneducated, pedlar boy was at times highly articulate, and spoke in a poetic manner which I found held similarities to some writings of Edgar Allen Poe. It had a rhythm to it, a certain pace which helped convey the confusion and anger felt by the character.
The highly creative use of the small space was admirable, and the passion Melling exhibited was contagious.
There was the occasional time where I felt the performance lulled, but that was soon overcome with a new wave of explosive anger, quick wit rhyme and large, dominating movements.
If you fancy seeing an actor from Harry Potter roll around in the sand wearing only boxer shorts then this is for you. If you want to see a hard hitting piece about the difficulties faced by some people in life who chose the wrong path in life then this is for you. If you even the smallest appreciation for amazing writing, stellar performing and witnessing the start of a very promising career then ‘peddling’ is certainly for you.
peddling was written and performed by Harry Melling, and directed by Steven Atkinson.
peddling will premiere at the HighTide Festival before transfering to 59E59 New York City 23rd April – 18th May 2014.