The Stage: An Interview with Harry Melling

As THE ANGRY BRIGADE fires into Watford Palace Theatre this week for the last leg of the tour, The Stage caught up with actor Harry Melling.

Read on for the article below.

Harry Melling - Headshot

Harry Melling shot to fame playing Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter film franchise. However, he has since carved out an impressive stage career, which includes taking his self-penned one-man show, Peddling, from HighTide Festival to New York. He is currently appearing in the touring production of James Graham’s The Angry Brigade

Tell me about your role  in The Angry Brigade.

I play lots of different  people, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s something that terrified me because I liked the idea of hanging on to one person and making sure that story is charted throughout. If you’re playing lots of different people, you’re juggling a lot of different balls. Sometimes, I feel that when you watch that style of acting, you see the skill of the actor as opposed to  the character, so in that respect it’s a very interesting challenge to try to make each character as defined as the others.

You’ve also written your own one-man show. Is writing something you’ve always wanted to do?

I just knew that I had to write this story. It wasn’t necessarily that I wanted to be a writer, but I knew I had to try to tell the story of this kid I met when I was very young. But from that experience I’ve got another idea that I want to do, so it’s just a question of finding the time. It’s something that a lot of my actor friends are doing, and it’s a welcome change of pace. Having that power is the crucial thing. It’s completely yours, and you can make the choices you want because you’re the person at the helm. It’s a very different responsibility to acting, which I like.

Coming from an acting family, did it feel inevitable you would do this?

I grew up watching theatre – that was the thing I loved and I knew I wanted to do it. I got into it very young, and because I’d been introduced to it at such an early age, I kind of latched on to it. I’ve been very lucky really in having access to it so young. I’d like to think that had I not been within the same family that I’d still find it, but who knows?

Has doing film work as  a child actor influenced the way you work now?

It influenced me in terms of watching older people be on set. It confirmed it was something I wanted to do, but it must have influenced me in other ways I can’t tell you how or why. But I always felt very comfortable on stage, and when I was at drama school there was a heavy emphasis on stagecraft, which has been really useful for me.

What made you undertake formal training?

I really wanted to bridge that gap between being a child actor and an actor. I’m not saying drama school is always the way to do that, but it made sense for me. I always wanted to be as good as I could be, and I think drama school teaches you how to fall on your arse, which is exactly what I needed.

You can read the full interview on The Stage site here.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch James Graham’s blazing new play, THE ANGRY BRIGADE kicks off at Watford Palace Theatre from tomorrow, Tuesday 21 October until Saturday 25 October 2014.

(£5 tickets for under 25s available here).


Join in the conversation online:

#TheAngryBrigade @painesplough @TRPlymouth 

Fastest finger first: Open Auditions

We’re about to put out the call for our next round of Open Auditions in London.

If you want to get involved, simply send us an email to with ‘AUDITION MAILING LIST’ in the subject header. We email details to everyone on the list each time we announce new dates.

We’re one of the only companies who hold Open Auditions, and demand for places is really high. We had 1,350 actors apply for just 50 slots last time out, and the slots were snapped up within 10 minutes.

This inevitably means lots of disappointed people. We know some of you have applied multiple times and still not managed to get a slot. We’re really sorry about that; we wish we could see more people, but obviously time and space is finite.

We work it on a first-come-first-served basis. Next time out we have 90 slots available, so the first 90 emails we receive will get them. We keep the next 90 emails we receive on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

We think that’s a fair way of adminstering it, but if you’ve got a better idea that keep it fair and doesn’t make lots more work for our team here, we’d love to hear from you. We’re always up for hearing new ideas for making things better.

Open Auditions are our way of broadening our horizons when it comes to casting, and getting to meet actors we might not otherwise get to know. We split the PP team across three rooms and meet actors in pairs for a quick chat, and ask you to prepare a duologue from a play written in the last 15 years. At the end of the day we repair to the pub and talk about the actors who really caught our eye.

We’re not casting for anything specific, it’s just a chance for us to meet you, and for you to meet us. We employ around 50 actors per year, so of course we’ve got an eye on the productions we have coming up in the next year, and hoping to meet people who might be the right fit for one of our shows.

Three actors we met in Open Auditions have been cast in a PP productions: Ben Winger in JUICY FRUITS, Vivienne Gibbs in JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS and Rhys Isaac-Jones in NOT THE WORST PLACE. Many more have come in and met us for formal castings for shows off the back of a great Open Audition. We keep everyone’s details on file, and we look back on our notes on Open Auditions every time we cast a new show.

Vivienne Gibbs in rehearsal for JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS

It’s one of our favourite ways to spend a day, meeting lots of great people and watching extracts of brilliant new plays.

If you want to come along to the next one, sign up to the mailing list, keep an eye on our Twitter feed. Godpseed on the buzzer. And if you don’t get a place this time, please keep trying, we’d love to meet you at some stage.

Check out our top tips for Open Auditions

And here’s our Open Auditions FAQs.

Introducing the new cast of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED

As the sound of live music once again fills our office, we’re absolutely thrilled to be welcoming a new cast to Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED which heads into rehearsals this week ahead of its Autumn Tour.


Theatre includes: Perseverance Drive (The Bush Theatre); This May Hurt a Bit (Out Of Joint); Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse); People (National Theatre); The Rubber Room (TS Eliot Exchange/Old Vic New Voices); Bang Bang Bang (Out of Joint/Royal Court); After the Accident (The Brewery/Soho Theatre); In The Blood (Finborough Theatre); Pornography (Tricycle Theatre then Traverse Theatre/Birmingham Rep); Cockroach (National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre); Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company); Macbett (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Winter’s Tale & Pericles (Royal Shakespeare Company/Davidson Liberal Arts College NC USA). Film includes: The Ones Below (Cuba Pictures); Nil By Mouth (SE8 Group). Television includes: Birds of Feather (Retort/ITV); Mayday (Kudos Film & TV Ltd/BBC); The Reckoning (Helter Skelter Ltd/ITV); Dr Who (BBC Wales); Law and Order:UK (Kudos Ltd/ITV); Missing (Leopardrama/BBC); Trial and Retribution (La Plante Productions/ITV); Gunrush (ITV Productions). Radio includes: Behind Closed Doors: Excluded (BBC Radio 4).


Sheila trained at Weekend Arts College. Theatre includes: The Lightning Child (Globe Theatre); Ghost Town (Pilot Theatre – Tour); Klook’s Last Stand (Park Theatre); Rachel (Finborogh Theatre) Sheila is also a musician, songwriter and composer.


Theatre Includes: Song of Songs (RSC); Re-Charged (Clean Break Theatre Company); Speechless (Shared Experience); Jo Turners Come and Gone (Young Vic); Twelfth Night, Here Lies Mary Splindler (RSC); Death and the Kings Horseman (National Theatre); Bullet Proof Soul (Birmingham Rep). TV includes: Consuming Passion (BBC4); W10 London (Kudos). Film includes: Apples and Oranges (CH4/IWC Media).

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED kicks off at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre on 6th November. Here’s the full line up for the tour

7 November – School of English Theatre, Sheffield

9 November – The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Manchester

11 November – The Electric Theatre, Surrey

13 – 14 November - Pegasus Theatre, Oxford

16 November – Nottingham New Theatre, Nottingham

17 November – The Gulbenkian, Kent

18 November – Cast, Doncaster

19 November – The Maltings, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

20 November – Arts Centre Washington, Newcastle

21 November – Derby Theatre, Derby

24 – 25 November – Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

27 November – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Buckinghamshire

28 November – Hazlitt Arts Centre, Kent

1 – 6 December – Roundhouse, London

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM – live performances

It’s all hands on deck as we prepare to launch our free installation this weekend at Festival Village, Southbank Centre.

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM feautures 100 short plays by the country’s top writers about the place they call home. We’re kicking things off this Friday from 6pm – 10pm, with live performances from guest writers between 6pm – 7pm.

Check out the full schedule of live performances throughout the weekend below.

Full dates and times:

Festival Village, under Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre (see map)

Friday 10 October 2014: 6pm – 10pm

Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 October 2014: 10am – 8pm.

We’ll catch you there.

We’re recruiting a Technical Stage Manager

We’re looking for a highly skilled Technical Stage Manager with strong sound and relighting capabilities for a small scale tour of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED by Kate Tempest.

To apply please read the job description below and send a CV and short cover letter to before 10am on Monday 6th October.

Interviews will be held in London on Wednesday 8th October.

Reporting to: Producer

Principal working  relationships: Production Manager, Company Stage Manager


13th October – 2nd November 2014 (rehearse London)

4th – 6th November (technical rehearsal Lincoln)

6th November – 6th December (national tour)

Job Purpose: To manage the technical aspects of the production, with particular regard to its re-lighting and sound, and working with the Company Stage Manager to run the get-in/get-out and tech period. Shared driving of the tour van will also be required.

Key Responsibilities (including but not limited to):

1)  To work alongside the Company Stage Manager in rehearsals and pre-touring preparation and arrangement, including pre-rig planning and venue liaison.

2) To support the Producer and Production Manager in co-ordinating, leading and arranging production meetings, and attending other meetings as required.

3) To support the Producer and Company Stage Manager in preparations for the get-in and tech period, liaising with members of the creative and production team to produce a tech schedule as necessary, and manage the get-in, tech period and get-out.

4) To assist in the supervision of any casual staff allocated to the Stage Management / Production Team during the tech period.

5) In conjunction and liaison with the Company Stage Manager, to manage the set-up, rigging (LX and Sound according to plans) and running of all performances, with particular attention to technical aspects, including being on the deck during performances.

6) To be responsible for the daily power-up and power-down of LX and sound equipment, including LX and Sound rig checks.

7) To ensure that the tool and fit-up equipment is kept in a tidy, complete, adequately stocked and secure state at all times and to replace any consumable items within budgets and parameters agreed with the Producer.

8 ) In conjunction and liaison with the Company Stage Manager, to ensure that all Stage Management working areas are kept tidy and clear of waste material and that equipment is maintained to a safe and proper standard.

9) In conjunction and liaison with the Company Stage Manager, to ensure that all the stage and back stage areas are kept clean and tidy and safe at all times.

10) In conjunction and liaison with the Company Stage Manager, to complete any day to day maintenance that may be required of the set, props, furniture and dressing for the production according to the Director’s and Designer’s requirements and within budgets and parameters agreed with Producer.

11) In conjunction and liaison with the Company Stage Manager, to ensure that all work undertaken on the set, props and furniture etc. is completed to the high standards agreed with the Producer.

12) In conjunction and liaison with the Company Stage Manager, to manage the timely get-out of the set and physical aspects of the production at each tour venue.

13) To liaise and co-operate with all other departments and individuals within Paines Plough.

14) To act as a credible ambassador for the company at all times.

15) To share the responsibility of driving the tour van between each of the venues. A valid driver’s license, and an age of at least 21 years is essential.

16) To adhere to the Health and Safety Policy of the company, undertaking such duties as are required, and ensuring that reasonable care is taken to ensure a healthy and safe working environment.

17) To undertake any other appropriate duties which may be allocated by the Producer.

Fee:       £430 p/w + weekly touring allowance outside of London based on ITC minimum rates of pay.

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM at the Southbank Centre

As part of the London Literature Festival, COME TO WHERE I’M FROM returns as a free interactive installation at the Southbank Centre from 10 – 12 October 2014.

Grab a drink from the bar, plug in headphones and listen to tales of home from 100 of the UK’s finest playwrights, with special live performances every day between 18.00-19.00.

Since 2010, 100 playwrights from across the UK have returned to their home towns to write plays about the places that shaped them. At theatres from Bristol to Belfast, Cardiff to Coventry and Nottingham to Newcastle, these plays were performed by the playwrights themselves, coming home to tell their tale. Now this five year project culminates with a three day installation and the launch of a smart phone app.

Installation opening times:
Friday 10 October 18.00 – 22.00
Saturday 11 October 10.00 – 20.00
Sunday 12 October 10.00 – 20.00

Special live performances:
18.00-19.00 daily

Live performances are FREE though there is limited capacity so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

For more information on the history of COME TO WHERE I’M FROM, click here.

For a full list of writers involved, please visit our website.

#CTWIF @painesplough

THE ANGRY BRIGADE production shots

Now that THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham has officially kicked off at Theatre Royal Plymouth, here’s a little sneak peek of what’s in store with some production snaps from last week.

All images by Richard Davenport

View the full set of photos on our Flickr page.

THE ANGRY BRIGADE currently plays at Theatre Royal Plymouth until 4 October 2014, then heads out on tour to:

Oxford Playhouse: 8 – 11 October

Warwick Arts Centre: 14 – 17 October

Watford Palace Theatre: 21 – 25 October


★★★★ The Guardian – “James Graham has a gimlet eye for newsworthy subjects… what emerges is a world with chilling similarities to our own.”

★★★★ The Times – “Enthrals… Graham’s witty play deserves a London run.”


Join the conversation online: #TheAngryBrigade @painesplough @TRPlymouth

Ed Fringe 2014: The shows we saw

Now that the dust has just about settled on the year that was Ed Fringe 2014 (and we’ve reluctantly parted ways with those all-night burger stalls and deadly irresistible kebab joints), it’s always good to take a look back.

It was an incredible month of being stimulated, surprised, inspired and challenged by some of the world’s most innovative and creative minds – and we can’t wait to do it all over again.

Here’s our Team PP round-up of the shows we saw:

The 56

A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts

Beardy Man

Beats North

Before Us



Britania Waves the Rules

Camille O’Sullivan

Captain Amazing

Chewing The Fat

Christeene: The Christeene Machine


The Collector



Cutting Off Kate Bush

Daniel Kitson

Divallusion with Christina Bianco and Velma Celli

The Duck Pond

Early Doors

Eden Gate

Eggs Collective Get A Round

The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland

Guilt and Shame: Going Straight

The Handlebards


Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum

Jason Byrne

Jonny and the Baptists: The Satiric Verses

Kim Noble: You’re Not Alone


Last Christmas


Lorraine & Alan

Luisa Omielan…Am I Right Ladies

Mark Watson: Flaws

Men in the Cities

Milk Presents: Self Service

Mush and Me

Near Gone


The Object Lesson

Out of Water


Sea Wall


Show 6


Sleight and Hand

Small War

So It Goes





We have Fallen



Thank you, Edinburgh. Same time next year?


Open Auditions in the Roundabout Auditorium

Paines Plough Open Auditions
Thursday 25 September 2014
Roundabout @ Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT
10am – 6pm

We’re really excited to be holding our next round of open auditions in the Roundabout Auditorium, in London. The Roundabout will be at Hackney Downs Studios from 22 – 27 September as part of its inaugural tour this autumn.

We are looking to meet actors previously unknown to Paines Plough and our next meeting will be held on Thursday 25 September 2014 in London. We will see 50 actors (25 pairs), and these slots will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you would like to be seen, please do the following:

– Find yourself a partner – we are auditioning people in pairs.
– Apply by sending ONE email with BOTH of your names to
– Please put OPEN AUDITIONS @ ROUNDABOUT HACKNEY in the Subject line.
– Do not send CVs, biogs or headshots as you can bring these with you on the day.
– If you are within the first 25 emails, we will email you back by Monday 15 September with an audition time.
– If you weren’t in the first 25 people to apply we will keep you on a waiting list and may offer you an audition if a slot becomes available.
– Once we have confirmed your time, please prepare a 3 minute piece of dialogue in your pair from a play written in the last 15 years.

Please note:

– If you have auditioned at our previous Open Auditions, we will not be able to see you this time round.
– We do not accept applications from agents. If you have an agent, you must still apply yourself using your own email address.
– Places are all allocated in advance. You will not be able to request a different time, and we will be unable to see people on a walk-up basis.
– We will retain a waiting list and will notify you if you are on this waiting list.
– If you are allotted a time but for any reason cannot make the appointment please let us know ASAP by emailing If you fail to turn up to your allotted slot without letting us know in advance, you will not be able to audition at future Paines Plough Open Auditions.
– We will not accept any emails sent to any email address other than
– Due to the large volume of people we are seeing, we will not be able to offer feedback.
– We are not casting for a particular show at the moment – we just want to meet some new actors so that we can have you in mind for future productions.

For more information, please download our FAQs.

We are also offering an ACTING IN THE ROUND workshop for actors, on Wednesday 24 September, 3-5pm which is free to anyone who has a ticket to one of our shows over that week. Places are limited and will be offered on a first come first served basis. For further information click here and if you would like to book your place please email Francesca Moody at

Best wishes,
George, James and all at Paines Plough

THE ANGRY BRIGADE rehearsal shots

Things are heating up in Plymouth as we dive into the final week of rehearsals for James Graham’s turbo-charged new thriller, THE ANGRY BRIGADE, our latest co-production with our old pals at Theatre Royal Plymouth. Check out some snaps from rehearsals below.

Photo credit: Richard Lakos

For the full set, visit our Flickr page.

The play premieres at Theatre Royal Plymouth, playing from 18 September – 4 October 2014, before making its way to Oxford Playhouse from 8 – 11 OctoberWarwick Arts Centre from 14 – 17 October and Watford Palace Theatre from 21 – 25 October.

#TheAngryBrigade @painesplough @TRPlymouth