About the show
Bryan Cranston stars in news satire Network at the National Theatre.
Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston stars in one of the most hotly anticipated plays of the National Theatre’s autumn/winter season 2017. Based on Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 film of the same name, Network focuses on an angry news anchor gone rogue. Lee Hall, author of the raucous success Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, adapts the original for the stage.
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more.” News anchorman Howard Beale is about to snap. With ratings at rock bottom and the pressure to answer his bosses’ demands too much, Howard uses his final broadcast to tell the nation what he really thinks.
His outburst, however, has an unlikely consequence. The viewers, it seems, love this refreshing frankness. Howard is the new hit of television land. And the TV execs are quick to use this to their own advantage.
American stage and screen star Cranston plays Howard Beale. Michelle Dockery joins him to play Diana Christenson. The actress, who learned her trade at the National Theatre, is best known as Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary. Douglas Henshall also stars as Max Schumacher.
Charles Babalola, Tobi Bamtefa, Richard Cordery, Isabella Della-Porter, Ian Drysdale, Michael Elwyn, Caroline Faber, Robert Gilbert, Tom Hodgkins, Tunji Kasim, Andrew Lewis, Beverley Longhurst, Evan Milton, Stuart Nunn, Patrick Poletti, Danny Szam and Paksie Vernon complete the cast.
Chayefsky’s film won four Academy Awards. Its cracking blend of caustic humour and timely dissection of post-truth news make it the perfect play for a fresh revival.
Ivo van Hove directs the National Theatre production of Network. The celebrated director was last at the National Theatre with Hedda Gabler, which starred Ruth Wilson. The man behind the Young Vic‘s internationally successful production of A View From The Bridge, van Hove is widely considered one of the most exciting directors currently working.
Network runs from 4 November 2017 – 24 March 2018 at the National Theatre.