Magazine article Screen International

Film on Stage

Magazine article Screen International

Film on Stage

Article excerpt

Nicholas Wright's new play Travelling Light is a love letter to the silent film era.

Someone at the National Theatre owes Harvey Weinstein a thank-you note. The National's latest play, Travelling Light, opened last night and it couldn't be better timed with The Artist's awards-season smash success.

Like The Artist, it's another love letter to early moviemaking.

Nicholas Wright's play is set in a shtetl in Eastern Europe as a young man, Motl Mendl, finds his dead father's Lumiere Brothers Cinematographe and starts filming (and screening) moving pictures around the village.

We follow as Motl experiences cinema as a completely new artform: figuring out filming, editing, and suffering through nitpicky test screenings, casting couches and creative differences. There are many laughs. We also meet Motl as an older man in 1936 Hollywood - where he's a mogul rechristened Maurice Montgomery (the play hammers home how Jewish heritage made its stamp on the early days of Hollywood. …

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