National Theatre Live prod with SA flavour


The acclaimed play Travelling Light, written by South African Nicholas Wright and starring locally born Antony Sher, will be screened as part of the third season of Cinema Nouveau’s National Theatre Live on 10, 11, 14 and 15 March 2012. The play was recorded in front of a live theatre audience on 9 February 2012.

Travelling Light will screen at the Cinema Nouveau multiplexes in Rosebank (Johannesburg); Brooklyn (Pretoria); V&A Waterfront and Cavendish (Cape Town); and Gateway (Durban).

The play is a funny and fascinating tribute to the Eastern European immigrants who became major players in Hollywood’s golden age. Cape Town-born, double Olivier award-winning actor, Antony Sher, plays the role of Jacob.

Set in the 1900s in a remote village in Eastern Europe, Travelling Light tells the story of a young Motl Mendl and his road to becoming a famed American film director, highlighting his unique relationships with Jacob (Antony Sher) the ebullient local timber merchant, and Anna, a girl set to help him make moving pictures of their village. Forty years on, Motle, now known as Maurice Montgomery, looks back on his early life and confronts the cost of fulfilling his dreams.

Born in Cape Town, Nicholas Wright opened and ran the Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool, England, was joint artistic director of the Royal Court and is a former literary manager and associate director of the Royal National Theatre. Wright began acting as a child and trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). His highly-acclaimed work includes productions at Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Leeds Playhouse, and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

But Wright’s talents reach beyond writing plays as he also wrote the libretto for the opera The Little Prince (music by Rachel Portman) for Houston Grand Opera and the libretto for the television opera Man on the Moon (music by Jonathan Dove) screened on Channel 4, and three episodes of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (from the novels by Alexander McCall Smith) for the BBC.

Sher has played the lead in such productions as Shakespeare’s Richard III, Tamburlaine, Cyrano de Bergerac, Stanley and Macbeth. He also played Johnnie in Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye, Lago in Othello and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.

In addition to stage acting, he has also appeared in some feature films, including Yanks, Superman II, Shadey, Erik the Viking and in the 1996 film adaptation of The Wind in the Willows.

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