Network

Network

The widely acclaimed National Theatre production of Network, starring Tony, Olivier, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Bryan Cranston as Howard Beale and adapted for the stage by Tony & Olivier Award-winning playwright Lee Hall (of Billy Elliot fame), transferred to Broadway in fall 2018, where it began previews on November 10, ahead of an official opening on December 6.

Although based on the Oscar-winning film by Paddy Chayefsky from 1976, Network frequently feels like it could have been written yesterday, reflecting the current state of affairs in an America riddled with "Fake News". This production, therefore, takes on a profound resonance as News Anchorman Howard Beale loses the plot and cries "B.S." on live television and exclaims that he and his peers lie for a living. His decent into a nervous breakdown, claiming he will commit suicide during the following week's news programme, only leads to a rebirth as a torchbearer for the populist rage of the nation (giving life to the infamous rant "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"). Beale becomes a modern prophet in sync with the dissatisfaction of the people, but will he too fall victim to corporate persuasion or something entirely more sinister?

Centred around a fictional television network (UBS), the play explores the lengths people are willing to go to for ratings, the cover-ups, the age-old battle between ethics and business, notions of power, influence and a pretend democracy. There is plenty of food for thought (as well as actual food served to patrons at the onstage restaurant during the show) in Network and there are prescient warnings a plenty.

Director Ivo van Hove's production is a multi-media marvel, converting the Belasco Theatre into a live television studio. Indeed, during certain parts of the show, the audience is invited to play the role of a live television studio audience and a few lucky patrons may even get the opportunity for a bit of audience participation with Mr. Cranston himself. As cameramen prowl around the stage, the images are fed to a large cinematic screen at the back of the set, as well as smaller screens around the auditorium. Some of the action takes place at the bar on stage left, or off-stage or even out on 44th Street and the event consequently feels like a fast-paced cinematic/theatrical hybrid. The benefits are reaped as the large screen captures the emotional outpourings of Mr. Cranston, also famed for his TV and Film acting, in high-definition detail. There is some excellent support too from the likes of Tony Goldwyn as Beale's best friend and colleague, Max Schumacher, and Emmy Award winner Tatiana Maslanyas Diana Christensen, an upstart producer, chasing ratings by any means necessary.

This is a rare opportunity to see an acting master class by one of this century's great stars in a production that is on a mission to inventively push boundaries and lift the bar for the capabilities of live theatre. You'd be mad as hell to miss it!

The world premiere of Network was staged at the National Theatre in London with a sold-out run from November 13, 2017 through to March 17, 2018, with Mr. Cranston being awarded the 2018 Olivier Award for "Best Actor" for his performance.

(Photos by Jan Versweyveld)

This show has now closed. See our list of theatre tickets for shows currently on sale.

Running time: 
2hrs (no intermission)
6 images
About Network:

Howard Beale, news anchor-man, isn’t pulling in the viewers. In his final broadcast he unravels live on screen. But when ratings soar, the network seizes on their newfound populist prophet, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on TV. Network depicts a media landscape where opinion trumps fact. Hilarious and hair-raising by turns, the iconic film by Paddy Chayefsky won four Academy Awards in 1976.

By:
adapted by Lee Hall, based on the Academy Award-winning film by Paddy Chayefsky
Producer:
David Binder, the National Theatre, Patrick Myles, David Luff, Ros Povey and Lee Menzies
Director:
Ivo van Hove
Lighting:
Jan Versweyveld
Sound:
Eric Sleichim
Design:
Jan Versweyveld
Costume:
An D'Huys
Cast list:
Bryan Cranston (as Howard Beale), Tony Goldwyn (as Max Schumacher), Tatiana Maslany (as Diana Christensen), Joshua Boone (as Frank Hackett), Alyssa Bresnahan (as Louise Schumacher), Ron Canada (as Edward Ruddy), Julian Elijah Martinez (as Harry Hunter), Frank Wood (as Nelson Chaney), Nick Wyman (as Arthur Jensen), Barzin Akhavan (as Jack Snowden/Warm-Up Guy), Jason Babinsky (as Floor Manager), Camila Canó Flaviá (as Secretary), Eric Chayefsky (as ELA Member), Gina Daniels (as Technician), Nicholas Guest (as Technician), Joe Paulik (as Technician), Susannah Perkins (as Schlesinger), Victoria Sendra (as Camera Person 2), Henry Stram (as Continuity Announcer), Bill Timoney (as Director), Joseph Varca (as Camera Person 1), Nicole Villamil (as Sheila) and Jeena Yi (as Technician)
Other info:
Video Design by Tal Yarden and Original Music by Eric Sleichim
Network Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
November 10, 2018
Opening date: 
December 6, 2018
Closes: 
June 8, 2019
MatineeEvening
Monday--
Tuesday--
Wednesday2pm7pm
Thursday-7pm
Friday-7pm
Saturday2pm7pm
Sunday3pm-

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Belasco Theatre

Address:
111 West 44th Street (between Broadway & 6th Avenue), New York, NY 10036
Nearest subway station:
42nd Street - Bryant Park

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Today the Broadway community celebrated The 85th Annual Drama League Awards, gathering at the Marriott Marquis Times Square to find out this year's winners of the five competitive categories and to also honor the previously announced recipients of the special recognition awards. Two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers, (currently represented on the Great White Way by Beetlejuice and soon to be represented by Moulin Rouge!

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Network, starring Bryan Cranston, announces final extension on Broadway
February 20, 2019

He's going to be "mad as hell" for a little longer! Following an initial extension through to April 28, 2019, producers of the Broadway transfer of the National Theatre production of Network have now announced a final extension for the smash hit play. Network will now play its final performance at Broadway's Belasco Theatre on June 8, 2019. The production was originally scheduled to only run through to March 17.

Our Network Review

If you only have a minute and don’t need a lot of detail here’s the deal: Cranston’s Howard Beale is such a sustained wonder of a performance that he crowds out the rest of the cast. Director Ivo van Hove is fearless, rattling our cages with visual noise and a breakneck pace. Get a ticket.