Anthony Sher, who is currently starring in Broken Glass in the West End will star in two major roles at the National Theatre over the next two years.

First up will be Nicholas Hytner's production of Nicholas Wright’s new play Travelling Light, which will premiere in the Lyttelton in January. Wright’s play celebrates the large number of Eastern European émigré who helped created Hollywood's golden age in the mid-20th century.

Sher plays Jacob, an ebullient timber-merchant whose encouragement of a young man’s enthusiasm for cinematography leads to success far beyond their remote Eastern European village. The production will also tour to Salford, Leeds, Newcastle and Aylesbury.

Nicholas Wright adapted His Dark Materials for the NT in 2003. His other plays include Rattigan's Nijinsky, which recently premiered at Chichester Festival Theatre and Vincent in Brixton (also for the NT).

Sher will then return in January 2013 to play Wilhelm Voigt in Carl Zuckmayer’s classic satire The Captain Of Kopenick, about a shoemaker who poses as a Prussian officer in order to hold the mayor of a small town to ransom.

The Captain Of Kopenick returns to the National Theatre for the first time since it was staged at the Old Vic 1971 with a Paul Scofield in the title role.

A multi award-winner, Sher's recent stage outings include An Enemy of the People, Daniel Evans' inaugural production as artistic director of Sheffield Theatres.

Myriad other credits The Tempest, Othello and Richard III for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Kean at the Apollo Theatre and on tour nationally, Primo (which he also wrote) for the National and Music Box Theater, New York, I.D. which he also wrote, for the Almeida Theatre, Stanley and Torch Song Trilogy at the Albery Theatre.

Tickets for Travelling Light at the NT Lyttelton will go on sale in November.