Bryan Cranston to make London stage debut

Bryan Cranston is to make his UK debut this year in Ivo van Hove’s production of Network at the National Theatre.

Cranston will play Howard Beale in the adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 film. Beale is a news anchor who is told he is to be fired due to bad ratings, and tells his audience that he will kill himself live on air within the week. The role is probably best known for Beale’s “I’m Mad as Hell” rant about the state of America.

The play has been adapted by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall and will open in the Lyttelton in November 2017.

Elsewhere in the season, Rufus Norris will direct Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff in Macbeth in spring 2018. The production, which is the first time Norris has directed a Shakespeare play in 25 years, will open in the Olivier as well as being broadcast to cinemas by NT Live in 2018.

Meanwhile, Cursed Child director John Tiffany will direct the world premiere of Disney’s Pinocchio by Dennis Kelly. The show will have songs from Walt Disney’s 1940 film adapted by Martin Lowe. The film featured songs such as “When You Wish Upon A Star”, “I’ve Got No Strings” and “Give A Little Whistle”. It will open in the Lyttelton in December 2017.

Finally, further casting has been announced for Follies. Josephine Barstow, Tracie Bennett, and Peter Forbes will join the previously announced cast which includes Imelda Staunton, Philip Quast and Janie Dee.

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