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

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‘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

65 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 suicide... More

joc78 5"4, 365 reviews, 5 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... More

LondonLass 5"1, 225 reviews, 14 helpful votes

Bryan Cranston, Ivo Van Hove, what more do you want? This is an adaptation of the Oscar-winning movie, at points, it feels long but... More

coryhaas 6'3", 31 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 newsroom... More

Jamb0r 178, 163 reviews, 12 helpful votes

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

rochellebalboa 5"9, 130 reviews, 24 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 staging... More

bryonyjameson 5"7, 95 reviews, 2 helpful votes

AMAZING. Bryan Cranston cements himself as one of the leading actors of our generation. The fast-paced action and sharp script, coupled... More

rickyzalman 28 reviews, 10 helpful votes

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

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

Incredible show. Pushes the boundaries on how theatre productions can (and should) be. Bryan Cranston is a fantastic stage actor with... More

oliviabeanland 5"7, 30 reviews, 1 helpful vote