Poster for the National Theatre production
Lee Hall (play)|
Paddy Chayefsky (film)
|Date premiered||13 November 2017|
|Place premiered||Lyttleton Theatre, National Theatre, London|
The play premiered in the Lyttleton Theatre at the National Theatre in London on 13 November 2017 (following previews from 4 November) and ran until 24 March 2018. The production was directed by Ivo Van Hove and starred Bryan Cranston as Howard Beale.
The play features set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, video design by Tal Yarden, costume design by An D'Huys, music by Eric Sleichim and sound design by Tom Gibbons. It was produced in association with Patrick Myles, David Luff, Ros Povey and Lee Menzies and supported by Marcia Grand for the memory of Richard Grand.
The play also features a live onstage television studio and an onstage restaurant titled Foodwork, where audience members can enjoy a three-course meal while watching the play.
The production will premiere on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre, with previews beginning on 10 November 2018 and officially opening on 6 December 2018, running for 18 weeks only. Originally, the transfer was scheduled to play the Cort Theatre, but following the early closure of Gettin' the Band Back Together, producers announced that the play would open at the Belasco Theatre. Cranston will reprise the role of Howard Beale alongside Tatiana Maslany in her Broadway debut as Diana Christensen.
The plot closely follows that of the 1976 film but uses stage devices and audio visual technology to immerse the audience as participants.  The audience becomes part of the play both as diners and a studio audience. The distance between fact and fiction is reduced, mimicking the blurring of truth and fiction in contemporary news media.
The London production of the play received mostly rave reviews, singling out Cranston's performance.
Cast and characters
|Characters||London (2017)||Broadway (2018)|
|Howard Beale, anchorman||Bryan Cranston|
|Harry Hunter, associate producer||Charles Babalola|
|Max Schumer, Head of News||Douglas Henshall||Tony Goldwyn|
|Frank Hackett, executive||Tunji Kasim|
|Louise, Schumer's wife||Caroline Faber|
|Ed Ruddy, chairman||Michael Elwyn|
|Diana Christiensen, Director of Programming||Michelle Dockery||Tatiana Maslany|
|Schlesinger, her researcher||Evan Milton|
|Nelson Chaney, executive||Tom Hodgkins|
|Jack Snowden, presenter||Robert Gilbert||Barzin Akhavan|
|Mr Jensen, Head of UBS||Richard Cordery|
|Sheila, production assistant||Paksie Vermon|
|Floor Manager||Stuart Nunn|
|Continuity Announcer||Patrick Poletti|
|ELA Member||Danny Szam|
Awards and nominations
Original London production
|2018||Critics' Circle Theatre Award||Best Actor||Bryan Cranston||Won|
|WhatsOnStage Awards||Best Actor in a Play||Bryan Cranston||Nominated|
|Best Video Design||Tal Yarden||Nominated|
|Laurence Olivier Awards||Best New Play||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Bryan Cranston||Won|
|Best Lighting Design||Jan Versweyveld||Nominated|
|Best Sound Design||Eric Sleichim||Nominated|
- Brown, Mark (2017-01-27). "Bryan Cranston to star in National Theatre production of Network". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
- Kitchener, Shaun (2017-01-27). "Network, classic 1976 movie, returns with Bryan Cranston in London stage adaptation". Daily Express. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
- "New for 2017 and 2018". www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
- Wiegand, Chris (2017-09-08). "The food Network: play starring Bryan Cranston becomes immersive dining experience". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
- Clement, Olivia (2018-09-10). "Emmy Winner Tatiana Maslany to Join Bryan Cranston in Network on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- "Network | National Theatre". www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
- Trueman, Matt (2017-11-14). "London Theater Review: Bryan Cranston in 'Network'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
- " 'Network' starring Bryan Cranston at the National Theatre – review round-up" The Stage, 16 November 2017