Books and Arts; Book Review;New theatre: “Travelling Light”;
The screen at the end of the world;Antony Sher plays the part of a lifetime;
Jacob Bindel, the timber merchant in Nicholas Wright's “Travelling Light” at the Lyttelton theatre, is the second of three Jewish roles that Sir Antony Sher has signed up for in less than a year—after decades of parts from other worlds than that of his forefathers. First he was Phillip Gellburg in last autumn's production of Arthur Miller's “Broken Glass” at London's Tricycle theatre, a repressed businessman in 1938 New York who tries to ignore the violent pogroms taking place in Germany. And later this summer he will reanimate Sigmund Freud in Terry Johnson's “Hysteria” in Bath.
身为犹太人，安东尼·谢尔爵士（Sir Antony Sher）数十年从未演过本民族角色。而最近不到一年，他已接下了三个犹太角色。去年秋季，他在伦敦三轮车剧院首度出演犹太人，于阿瑟·米勒（Arthur Miller）剧《碎玻璃杯》中饰演菲利普·盖尔博格（Phillip Gellburg），一个情感压抑的商人，1938年住在纽约，试图忽视德国残暴的犹太人大屠杀。第二个角色便是在利特尔顿剧院扮演尼古拉斯·赖特（Nicholas Wright）剧《轻装上阵》中的犹太木材商人雅各布·宾德尔（Jacob Bindel）。而今夏，他将在巴斯重新诠释泰利·约翰逊（Terry Johnson）剧《歇斯底里》中的西格蒙德·佛洛依德。
Of the three roles, Jacob Bindel may well prove the most memorable. It could make the South African-born actor as unforgettable to London audiences as Chaim Topol was as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” half a century ago.
Mr Wright has set his new play in a remote village in eastern Europe at the dawn of the 20th century. Motl Mendl (a fluid and captivating Damien Molony) has returned after a long absence to his uncle's photography studio, where he is entranced by the flickering shadows of a motion picture. Jacob enters, intent on having a photograph taken of his wife and their only son before the boy is called upon to don the uniform of the tsar. At least, that is his plan until he decides to have the family farewell filmed as a motion picture and succumbs to the allure of the movies.
这部赖特新作中的故事发生在20世纪初叶一个遥远的东欧小镇上。莫特尔·门德尔（Motl Mendl）长相酷似达米恩·莫罗尼（Damien Molony），动作灵活优雅，充满魅力。久别之后，他回到了叔叔的照相馆，在那儿对电影闪烁的光影着了迷。某天，雅各布来到相馆，本想在独子应征加入沙皇的军队前为妻儿照张合照，后来决定将家人的惜别之景摄为电影；电影的魅力征服了他。
Orphaned and illiterate, the ebullient self-made businessman explains why: “Me, I don't know words. Words for me are like stone wall around God's world. So I am stranger to God's world…Then I see your motion picture, and the door to paradise open for me. I see big light, big sun, big sky! Because no words! No words but all of feelings! Love, happiness, sadness, tears. I see them clear.” Inspired by Anna, Motl's clever and captivating assistant (Lauren O'Neil), the young director begins making films with Jacob as the world's first movie producer.
Mr Wright's paean to the earliest days of film-making—a homage to the birth of Hollywood with its Sam Goldwyns and its Louis B. Mayers—is funny and generous. The warmth of the shtetl feeds the creativity of these nascent cinephiles. Together the two men go back to the flood, discovering the power of stories, dramatic montage, captivated audiences and the thrill of the casting couch.
Earthy, wheedling and endlessly instinctive, Sir Antony's Jacob is at the heart of it all, whether he is trying to meddle in the directing or keep his wife and daughter out of the film and cast Anna, instead, as the leading lady (“When I look at that girl…I like 18 again. I like tree in springtime with hot sap like kettle rise into every branch. You hear my meaning?”) Or even when he tries surreptitiously to rent out his cow to the studio. In fact, Sir Antony is so powerfully Jacob Bindel that it becomes a problem. The second act takes place in Hollywood 30 years later. Jacob barely appears. The audience feels bereft.