Network (play)

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Network
Network (play) poster.jpg
Poster for the National Theatre production
Written by Lee Hall (play)
Paddy Chayefsky (film)
Date premiered 13 November 2017 (2017-11-13)
Place premiered Lyttleton Theatre, National Theatre, London
Original language English

Network is a play by Lee Hall, adapted from the 1976 film of the same name which had a Academy Award-winning screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky and was directed by Sidney Lumet.

Production history[edit]

Bryan Cranston as Howard Beale during the play in the National Theatre production.

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.[1][2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

Plot[edit]

The plot closely follows that of the 1976 film but uses stage devices and audio visual technology to immerse the audience as participants. [6] 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.[7]

Reception[edit]

The London production of the play received mostly rave reviews, singling out Cranston's performance.[8]

Cast and characters[edit]

The cast and crew of the National Theatre production (dated December 19, 2017),
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
Director Ian Drysdale
Sheila, production assistant Paksie Vermon
Floor Manager Stuart Nunn
Continuity Announcer Patrick Poletti
Technicians Tobi Bamtefa,

Andrew Lewis,

Beverly Longhurst,

Rebecca Omogbehin

Secretary Isabelle Della-Porta
ELA Member Danny Szam

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original London production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Mark (2017-01-27). "Bryan Cranston to star in National Theatre production of Network". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  2. ^ Kitchener, Shaun (2017-01-27). "Network, classic 1976 movie, returns with Bryan Cranston in London stage adaptation". Daily Express. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  3. ^ "New for 2017 and 2018". www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  4. ^ Wiegand, Chris (2017-09-08). "The food Network: play starring Bryan Cranston becomes immersive dining experience". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  5. ^ Clement, Olivia (2018-09-10). "Emmy Winner Tatiana Maslany to Join Bryan Cranston in Network on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  6. ^ "Network | National Theatre". www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  7. ^ Trueman, Matt (2017-11-14). "London Theater Review: Bryan Cranston in 'Network'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  8. ^ " 'Network' starring Bryan Cranston at the National Theatre – review round-up" The Stage, 16 November 2017

External links[edit]