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
  • War Horse on Tour - close up of horse's eye, with sketch of horse and rider just below
  • King Lear with Simon Russell-Beale
  • A Taste of Honey with Lesley Sharp and Kate O'Flynn on a terraced street
  • Home by Nadia Fall
  • A Small Family Business. With Nigel Lindsay in a warehouse
  • The Silver Tassie, with a photo of Ronan Raftery in British army uniform
  • Yellow Face
  • One Man Two Guvnors poster with Owain Arthur
  • The Animals and Children Took to the Streets, by 1927
  • The Roof - title treatment on concrete chasm looking up with free-runner leaping across the void
  • Hotel. A figure swimming, top half of body, viewed from below, with title.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • 100 Acts of Minor Dissent. Photo of Mark Thomas
  • James I - photo of James McArdle against a stormy sky
  • Ballyturk
  • James II - photo of Andrew Rothney against a stormy sky
  • James III - photo of Jamie Sives against a stormy sky
  • The James Plays
  • Treasure Island. graphic outline of a sailing galleon on a calm sea at night with stars