‘Travelling Light’ at National Theatre (Lyttelton)
By Fiorenzo Cecere
Hot on the heels of recent cinematic tributes in the shape of ‘The Artist’ and ‘Hugo’ shines National Theatre’s very own homage to early cinema: ‘Travelling Light’. This play is a charming, absorbing and educational take on cinema in its infancy. Motl Mendl is a young man stuck in a remote Eastern European village, harbouring dreams of becoming a filmmaker, the type of dreams considered unheard of in those distant days. As a serious film aficionado, I was truly captivated by this story about the discovery of the joys of filmmaking. It is reminiscent of an all-time celluloid favourite of mine, ‘Cinema Paradiso’. Antony Sher, as usual, was superb as Josef, a local entrepreneur, whose generous financial contributions helped Motl’s dreams become reality, and is a striking resemblance to Topol’s character in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.
A few weeks ago, I nominated one of the National Theatre’s other recent productions, ‘Moon on a Rainbow Shawl’ as the best play of ’12 so far; but I would say that ‘Travelling Light’ is a very close second.
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