While Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has been proving his acting mettle and shocking grannies and mum's by smoking on stage and stripping off in Equus here in London and on Broadway, his cousin Dudley in the film series played, by Harry Melling, has been quietly hitting the stage himself.
I first saw Melling last year in Mother Courage and all her Children at the National Theatre. He played Swiss Cheese, a character that is the son of Mother Courage played by Fiona Shaw who, coincidentally, plays his mother in the Harry Potter films*. It wasn't a major role but he'd certainly shed the bumbling Dudley character and size and I remember him from the play.
And so when I saw him listed among the cast for Women Beware Women, also at the National, I was eager to see whether the performance of Mother Courage was a one-off. But it certainly wasn't. While his character in WBW - The Ward - is again a small part he made his mark quickly in the first half and I was actually looking forward to more of his character in the second half.
He raised the biggest laugh of the night and got a spontaneous applause. He left me wanting more of the character and looking out for him in the climactic final scene. If WBW is a taste of what he can do I look forward to his next project.
There will be more Rev Stan thoughts on WBW coming soon.
* For those unfamiliar with the Potter films the stage-screen connection goes further, Radcliffe's Equus co-star Richard Griffith's plays Potter's Uncle and Dudley's dad in the film - incestuous, the theatre?
Melling is pictured above right as Dudley in Warner Bros Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with Richard Griffith's and Fiona Shaw and above left in Women Beware Women at the National Theatre