A poetic play
“I made my peace with the worms in the earth/ and then darkness/ everything’s gotta start somewhere, you see.” So Melling’s nameless young pedlar wakes in a field in London, covered in dirt and debris. Part poetry part play, we join him on his journey trying to remember who he is and what he does. A young offender selling household cleaners door-to-door? A poet? Is he lost at all?
The New York Times made comparisons to Samuel Beckett in reviewing Peddling’s strange hypnotic poetic tone when the show appeared at the 59359 Theatre Off Broadway earlier this year. This is Melling’s first piece of writing for the stage but already it’s earned countless five and four star reviews, both in New York and at the HighTide Festival where it premiered in the UK.
Melling has already proved himself away from the spotlight of the Harry Potter films; at the National, Barbican, Trafalgar Studios and recently as the Fool alongside Frank Langella’s King Lear. He is currently on tour with The Angry Brigade, another play about disenfranchised youth.
Fans of slam poet Kate Tempest will love this rhythmic one man show at the Arcola. Harry Melling unpacks the story of a 19 year old boy who goes door to door in North London selling cleaning products with impressive energy and versatility. The writing is often quick, relevant and poetic, lithely dipping between humour and horror in the same sentence. Staged in the round, the intimate space of the theatre was used to great effect; few props and clever lighting conjured a sense of gritty north London. A good play and a strong performance by Melling, Peddling was flawed only in the sense that there was nothing especially new or innovative in his approach to the subject matter. Certainly not for those who prefer their theatre classical, this is nonetheless enjoyable and exciting debut.
|What||Peddling, Arcola Theatre|
|Where||Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street , London, E8 3DL | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Highbury & Islington (underground)|
04 Mar 15 – 28 Mar 15, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via Arcola Theatre|