London’s Bryan Cranston-Led Network Will Offer Onstage Seating (and Dining)

London News   London’s Bryan Cranston-Led Network Will Offer Onstage Seating (and Dining)
 
The National Theatre production of Lee Hall’s new play will offer an onstage immersive dining option.

Lee Hall’s adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Network chronicles the story of news anchorman Howard Beale, who isn’t pulling in the viewers. However, after a sudden emotional outpouring during his final broadcast, ratings soar, and the network begins to capitalize on his newfound popularity.

Tony and Emmy winner Bryan Cranston (All The Way, Breaking Bad) plays Beale in the upcoming production at London’s National Theatre, directed by Tony winner Ivo van Hove (A View From the Bridge).

Known for his innovative directing style, van Hove’s production will feature the option of an immersive dining experience at the onstage fine dining restaurant Foodwork. Guests who buy a ticket for Foodwork will enjoy a three-course meal “in the heart of the action on the stage of the Lyttelton Theatre,” according to the National’s website. “You will arrive through a secret entrance, be welcomed by our Maître D’, and be guided to your seats onstage where the production will take place all around you.”

A limited number of tickets for the onstage Foodwork experience will be available via lottery. Those interested should note that they will be visible to the rest of the audience (as is customary with onstage seating), but also may be filmed during the live show and seen on screens as part of the play. Guests will have to abide by a dress code and will be served a set menu—though a vegetarian option is available. Wheelchair access is available. Attendees under the age of 18 will not be permitted to partake in Foodwork.

To enter the lottery, visit NationalTheatre.org.uk. Entree is free, but for a full list of terms and conditions, click here.

Van Hove made his Broadway directorial debut with A View From the Bridge in 2015, for which he won a Tony Award. That production also featured onstage seating. That same season, he directed his second and most recent Broadway production, The Crucible, starring Sophie Okonedo and Ben Whishaw.

Alongside Cranston, Douglas Henshall (Betrayal at the Comedy Theatre) will play Max Schumacher, and Olivier nominee Michelle Dockery (Burnt By the Sun, Downton Abbey) will play Diana Christenson.

The three actors will be joined by Charles Babalola, Tobi Bamtefa, Richard Cordery, Isabella Della-Porter, Ian Drysdale, Michael Elwyn, Caroline Faber, Robert Gilbert, Tom Hodgkins, Tunji Kasim, Andrew Lewis, Beverley Longhurst, Evan Milton, Stuart Nunn, Patrick Poletti, Danny Szam, and Paksie Vernon.

Network will feature set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, video design by Tal Yarden, costume design by An D’Huys, and music and sound design by Eric Sleichim. Network is produced in association with Patrick Myles, David Luff, Ros Povey, and Lee Menzies.

The production begins previews November 4 with an official opening November 13, running through March 24, 2018.

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