Travelling Light

a new play by Nicholas Wright

★ ★ ★ ★
Financial Times, Guardian, The Times

‘Enchanting. A golden-hearted tragicomic fable.’
The Times

‘A love letter to the movies.' Guardian

Nicholas Wright’s new play is a funny and fascinating tribute to the Eastern European immigrants who became major players in Hollywood’s golden age.

Travelling Light postpress poster

Travelling Light

a new play by Nicholas Wright

In a remote village in Eastern Europe, around 1900, the young Motl Mendl is entranced by the flickering silent images on his father’s cinematograph. Bankrolled by Jacob, the ebullient local timber merchant, and inspired by Anna, the girl sent to help him make moving pictures of their village, he stumbles on a revolutionary way of story-telling. Forty years on, Motl – now a famed American film director – looks back on his early life and confronts the cost of fulfilling his dreams.

How had a twenty-two-year–old pretentious layabout made a discovery that would elude every other cinematic pioneer for years to come?

The award-winning Antony Sher – whose previous work with the National Theatre includes Primo and Stanley – returns to play Jacob.

I know it was in the picture. I made the picture and now the cow’s getting paid and I’m not!

Audio-Described performances Fri 2 Mar at 7.30pm, Sat 3 Mar at 2.15pm (Touch Tour at 12.45pm)

Captioned performance Wed 29 Feb at 7.30pm

 

National Theatre Live

Travelling Light was broadcast to cinemas across the UK and around the world on 9 February 2012 as part of National Theatre Live. Find your nearest cinema and book.

 

On Tour

13 – 17 March
The Lowry, Salford

20 – 24 March
Grand Theatre, Leeds

27 – 31 March
Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

3 – 7 April
Theatre Royal, Newcastle

original photos © Corbis

  • War Horse
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Collage of a boy on a rubbish heap with a passenger jet flying overhead
  • Treasure Island poster image
  • Dara. Photography by Seamus Ryan
  • The Hard Problem
  • Man and Superman poster, with Ralph Fiennes. Photography by Juergen Teller
  • Rules for Living. Instruction image for combining people and objects
  • Parades banner for Light Shining in Buckinghamshire
  • Everyman - a figure in a bleak space with cartoon finger pointing down at his head
  • Beyond Caring. Curtains against a wall
  • The Beaux' Stratagem - Portrait of an 18th century woman, collaged and retouched
  • The Red Lion. Blurred figure holding a football in a doorway, lit from behind
  • London Road film poster. Cast members leaning and looking through an interior window
  • The Motherf**cker with the Hat. Illustration of a head with a hat but no face
  • We Want You to Watch. Female head with wide open mouth and wide open mouths for eyes
  • An Oak Tree. Instructional diagram of one male figure raising and lowering another with their hand, as if by magic
  • Brainstorm. Teenage boy with blue exploding head
  • wonder.land - a grinning cartoon cat