Travelling Light is a tribute to the Eastern European immigrants who became major players in Hollywood’s golden age.
In a remote village in Eastern Europe, around the dawn of the twentieth century, 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 storytelling. Forty years on, Motl – now a famed American film director – looks back on his early life and confronts the cost of fulfilling his dreams. The play suggests that life in the shtetls of Europe paved the way for the pressures that would come with working in Hollywood.
Travelling Light premiered at the National Theatre in London in 2012, directed by Nicholas Hytner.