Following Vincent in Brixton and The Reporter, Nicholas Wright’s new play, Travelling Light, is a funny and fascinating tribute to the Eastern European immigrants who became major players in Hollywood’s golden age. It returns to the National Theatre after a successful season earlier this year and a UK tour.
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?
Reviews have said the following about Travelling Light which is currently booking until 2nd June at the Lyttleton:
“A love-letter to the movies and an appealingly intelligent evocation of the Jewish folk culture that formed the basis of American cinema”
- The Guardian
“Inventive and amusing”
- Daily Telegraph
“Enchanting. A golden-hearted tragicomic fable”
- The Times