Network at National Theatre - Lyttelton tickets
Network at National Theatre - Lyttelton tickets

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Overview

‘I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore.’

Based on Paddy Chayefsky’s Academy Award-winning 1976 film, Lee Hall adapts Network for the National Theatre’s Lyttelton stage, playing a strictly limited run and starring Bryan Cranston. In an era plagued by “fake news” and accusations of politicians manipulating social media to work in their favour, the topical play remains shockingly relevant today.

Network follows world-weary broadcaster Howard Beale, as declining ratings threaten his job. As his livelihood becomes jeopardised, he vows to kill himself live on air. Audiences immediately grow, and the TV executives realise there’s money to be made is his uninhibited rants. Both terrifying and hilarious, this vintage world where opinion trumps fact is all too familiar in the current climate.

Bryan Cranston stars as Howard Beale, best known for playing Walter White in Breaking Bad. Theatre credits include Broadway’s All the Way, whilst multiple screen appearances include The Cleveland Show, How I Met Your Mother, Sneaky Pete and SuperMansion.

Further casting includes Charles Babalola, Tobi Bamtefa, Ed Begley, Alex Bonney, Tom Challenger, Richard Cordery, Isabel Della-Porta, Michelle Dockery, Kit Downes, Ian Drysdale, Michael Elwyn, Caroline Faber, Robert Gilbert, Pete Harden, Douglas Henshall, Tom Hodgkins, Tunji Kasim, Andrew Lewis, Beverley Longhurst, Evan Milton, Stuart Nunn, Rebecca Omogbehin, Patrick Poletti, Danny Szam, Paksie Vernon and Matthew Wright.

Network is adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Billy Elliot) and is directed by Ivo van Hove (The Crucible, Hedda Gabler, Lazarus), featuring set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, costume design by An D’Huys, sound design by Eric Sleichim and video design by Tal Yarden.

Incorporating onstage dining, live video footage and multiple locations, Network reminds audiences of the relentless influence the media has over us today. The production plays at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre from 4 November 2017 to 24 March 2018, with a press night on 13 November 2018.

A particular highlight is ‘Foodwork’, the onstage restaurant where certain ticketholders are served a three-course, fine dining meal over the duration of the show, in view of the rest of the audience. This immersive element is a particularly unique feature of the show.

Recommended for

Fans of the original film, immersive theatre, technology and the media will find this dark comedy particularly cutting in today’s political climate. Impressive design and solid writing are also a draw.

Age Recommendations: Not suitable for children

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours (without an interval)
Opened: 04 Nov 2017
Press night: 13 Nov 2017
Booking from: 04 Nov 2017
Booking until: 24 Mar 2018

Location and map

National Theatre - Lyttelton
National Theatre, Southbank
London, SE1 9PX

58 Reviews Add review

Bryan Cranston was excellent in the lead role as the news anchorman who announces he wants to be the first newsreader to commit su... More

joc78 5"4, 251 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Bryan Cranston was excellent in the lead role as the news anchorman who announces he wants to be the first newsreader to commit suicide live on air. This play had a real dynamic to it. The set design was incredible - I've never seen anything like it before in terms of the technical aspect. TV Screens all over the stage, cameramen everywhere, wires, thumping drum beats and loud music. You even had members of the audience dining on a 3 course menu to the side of the stage whilst you look at a fully working kitchen with the chef preparing the meals in front of your eyes. At some points I found this distracting and I'm not sure what it added to the performance but it was certainly different. Michelle Dockery and Douglas Henshall gave great supporting actor performances but the night belonged to Bryan Cranston - he was excellent!

joc78 5"4, 251 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Network is a breath of fresh air in current British theatre. It expertly manages to be authentic to its' time period (1970s) and y... More

Funthing29 5"1, 163 reviews, 12 helpful votes

Network is a breath of fresh air in current British theatre. It expertly manages to be authentic to its' time period (1970s) and yet strongly resonate with the audience with its themes that mirror modern times. Brian Cranston was magnetic in the lead role and showed such a broad range of emotions during the two hour performance. The overall production was very slick and stylish and the presence of the large screen helped enhance elements of the play. Perhaps the on-stage diners were a distraction but otherwise this is one of the best productions I have seen staged in the Lyttelton Theatre.

Funthing29 5"1, 163 reviews, 12 helpful votes

Great dynamic show and Bryan Cranston was AMAZING and well deserving of the 2018 Olivier Award.

nathandowling 26 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Great dynamic show and Bryan Cranston was AMAZING and well deserving of the 2018 Olivier Award.

nathandowling 26 reviews, 0 helpful votes

An outstanding show. Gripping and inventive and Bryan Cranston is superb. Would recommend to anyone just for the staging of the pi... More

rochellebalboa 5"9, 93 reviews, 23 helpful votes

An outstanding show. Gripping and inventive and Bryan Cranston is superb. Would recommend to anyone just for the staging of the piece.

rochellebalboa 5"9, 93 reviews, 23 helpful votes

Absolutely brilliant. Innovative direction and set. Cast were great especially Brian Cranston. Parts of the storyline (the love in... More

js53 5'1", 15 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Absolutely brilliant. Innovative direction and set. Cast were great especially Brian Cranston. Parts of the storyline (the love interest) a bit weak but otherwise the film story is updated really well and very relevant.

js53 5'1", 15 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Extraordinary performance from Bryan Cranston. Love the setting of the TV studio, the interaction with the audience in the restaur... More

claremcsheaffrey 5'2, 10 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Extraordinary performance from Bryan Cranston. Love the setting of the TV studio, the interaction with the audience in the restaurant and the stalls. One of the best plays I've seen for a while.

claremcsheaffrey 5'2, 10 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I loved this - it felt like a real theatrical 'event'. Really unusual staging, with the restaurant on stage on one side and the n... More

jamesatwill 178, 100 reviews, 5 helpful votes

I loved this - it felt like a real theatrical 'event'. Really unusual staging, with the restaurant on stage on one side and the newsroom on the other. I loved the videography - I thought it was genius, especially with part of the show being broadcast from outside on the southbank. Bryan Cranston was as brilliant as I was expecting him to be - how he's still got a voice after all that screaming I don't know!

jamesatwill 178, 100 reviews, 5 helpful votes

Network is a work of art. Bryan Cranston absolutely stole the show and I was in tears at the end with how well it was done. The st... More

bryonyjameson 5"7, 58 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Network is a work of art. Bryan Cranston absolutely stole the show and I was in tears at the end with how well it was done. The staging is unlike anything I have ever seen before with all of the camera work and outside broadcast. Brilliant. One of the best plays I have ever seen.

bryonyjameson 5"7, 58 reviews, 1 helpful vote

eroot Height 160 cm, 41 reviews, 0 helpful votes

eroot Height 160 cm, 41 reviews, 0 helpful votes