Sir Antony Sher, who won an Olivier Award for his performance in Stanley at the National Theatre, is to return to the venue to star in two productions over the next two years.
In January next year the actor will appear in a new play by Nicholas Wright, Travelling Light, directed by NT Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner, before returning in early 2013 to play the title role in Carl Zuckmayer’s The Captain Of Köpenick.
In Travelling Light, described as a “tribute to the Eastern European immigrants who became major players in Hollywood’s golden age,” Sher plays Jacob, a timber merchant who encourages a young man’s enthusiasm for cinematography, leading to success far beyond their Eastern European village.
Wright’s previous work for the National includes The Reporter and the Olivier Award-winning Vincent In Brixton, while his latest play The Last Of The Duchess will premiere at Hampstead theatre in October.
In Zuckmayer’s 1931 satirical tale The Captain Of Köpenick, Sher takes on the role of impoverished ex-convict Wilhelm Voigt, who uses the power of a military uniform to assume command of his town and raid its treasury. The play, based on a true story, received its London premiere in the 1950s and was last produced by the National at the Old Vic in 1971.
Currently performing in Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass in the West End, the multi-talented Sher is an actor, artist, novelist and playwright who has numerous credits with the Royal Shakespeare Company including Richard III, which, along with Torch Song Trilogy, won him his first Olivier Award in 1985. His previous work for the National includes Uncle Vanya, The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui, Stanley – for which he received his second Olivier in 1997 – and Primo, which he adapted from Primo Levi’s If This Is A Man. He also directed Breakfast With Mugabe for the RSC in Stratford and London.
Booking for Travelling Light opens in November.