December 7th, 2018
Hot off a sell-out run in London last year, Lee Hall's adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning Network opened at Broadway's Belasco Theater last night. Reprising his Olivier award-winning run, Bryan Cranston leads the charge as a disgruntled newscaster, Howard Beale. But, what did the critics think?
Variety was full of praise for the production saying "The chance to watch Cranston in full-throated flight is what sells tickets here. But once they're in the theater, audiences will find that Beale's anger now feels so palpably topical that, when Beale urges America to stand up for itself and send out a mighty roar of disapproval, it takes a lot of self-control to keep from jumping up and shouting along". The New York Times mirrored the sentiment saying "As a portrait of a displaced man unravelling, Mr. Cranston's wrenching performance stands on its own. In context, it's a terrifying reminder of how an all-too-human, anger-filled public figure, with access to a worldwide stage, can be mistaken for a god".
The Hollywood Reporter praised the ingenuity of the set design saying "With so many multimedia elements both prerecorded and filmed live, this must have been a hellishly complicated production to plan; its complexity is breathtaking". AM New York said that Network was "A freewheeling, fast and furious, absolutely mesmerizing stage adaptation". With The Stage saying "The absolute genius of Ivo van Hove's production is to give this a churning, gripping immediacy, as TV cameras swoop over the action and relay images to a giant screen centre stage and on smaller screens throughout the auditorium. And it is propelled by a searing, shatteringly committed performance from Bryan Cranston".
What is Network about?
A chilling black comedy, Network is the story of newsreader Howard Beale who becomes increasingly outraged with the way that proper 'news' is devolving into a circus. After being fired following ailing ratings, Beale's desperation leads him to deliver the rant of his career, threatening a bloody outcome to his final broadcast. Whilst planning his on-air suicide, ratings go sky high in this cautionary tale of anger and exploitation.
Network is currently plat at the Belasco Theater through to March 17.
View our show pages for more information about Network, Belasco Theater.
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