Theatre News

Michelle Dockery joins Bryan Cranston in National Theatre's Network

The ”Downton Abbey” star will come to the National for Lee Hall’s new adaptation

© Dan Wooller, David Gordon

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery will appear alongside Bryan Cranston in the National Theatre's world-premiere of Network, adapted by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall.

Dockery, who takes on the role of Diana Christensen, says: "It's a wonderful feeling to be going back to the National after eight years. To be working with Bryan Cranston and Ivo van Hove on an adaptation of this brilliant film is a rare and exhilarating opportunity, I am thrilled."

Dockery was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress when she last appeared at the National in Burnt by the Sun. She made her professional debut at the same venue in 2004 for the adaptation of His Dark Materials.

Directed by Olivier Award winner Ivo van Hove, the show is the first stage version of Paddy Chayefsky's 1976 film. Cranston will play Howard Beale, a news anchor against the backdrop of a dystopian media landscape where opinion trumps fact.

Network will run on the National's Lyttelton stage with previews from 4 November and an official opening night on 13 November. Set and lighting design comes courtesy of Jan Versweyveld, video design by Tal Yarden, costume design by An D’Huys, music and sound design by Eric Sleichim.

Network runs at the National Theatre from the 13 November until 24 March, with previews from 4 November.