Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston is set to make his debut on the British stage later this year, playing the role of the quixotic TV anchor Howard Beale in a new production of the 1976 movie Network.

The 60 year old actor, famed for his performances as science teacher-turned-drug dealer Walter White in ‘Breaking Bad’, will star in a production helmed by the acclaimed director Ivo van Hove. This adaptation of Network is just one of a number of new projects announced on Friday (January 27th) by the National Theatre’s artistic director Rufus Norris.

“It is great to broaden our pool of actors but the main thing is, can they do the job? And he clearly can. It is a wonderful part and a part which requires something compelling and special,” Norris said.

Bryan CranstonBryan Cranston is to make his British stage debut in 2017

Other projects include Pinocchio directed by John Tiffany, and a version of Macbeth to feature Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff.

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But it is undoubtedly Cranston, who’ll be playing the unhinged anchor who is told he’s losing his job because of falling ratings and utters the line “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more!”, who will be the eye-catching signing for the National Theatre.

“It is a kind of a new phenomenon that a theatre director would get that kind of international kudos,” Norris said about Ivo van Hove, who has scored a number of successes directing big names such as Jude Law and Ruth Wilson on the stage.

“Ivo has been working for years and years and it has taken New York and then London a long time to cotton on to what most mainstream theatregoers in Europe have been aware of for a long time, which is his particular and singular style.”

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