Antony Sher as Jacob Bindel in Travelling Light at the National Theatre, 2012. (Johan Persson)

Actor Antony Sher has won accolades for playing Shylock, Richard III, Cyrano de Bergerac, Macbeth, and Primo Levi. Knighted in 2000, he’s traveled a great distance from his quiet middle-class upbringing in Cape Town, South Africa, and even further from the world of his grandparents, who were Jewish immigrants from Lithuania. Now Sher is returning to his roots in Travelling Light, an acclaimed new play by Nicholas Wright being produced by England’s National Theatre. (Selected National Theatre productions are broadcast to movie theaters worldwide via its NT Live program. Additional U.S. screenings of Travelling Light are scheduled for cities including Brooklyn, N.Y., Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, and Minneapolis.) He plays Jacob Bindel, a wealthy timber merchant turned movie producer in an Eastern European town in the early 1900s. Through Bindel, the play explores how so many Jews came to be involved in the making of Hollywood. Hugh Levinson spoke with Sher at London’s Lyttleton Theatre, where Travelling Light is showing through June. [Running time: 16:30.]