Star anchor for a New York television station for 20 years, Howard Beale is losing his viewership. He is told that he has two more weeks at the news desk before he is fired. Back on the air, he launches into a fiery sermon and announces he will commit suicide live on TV the following Tuesday. His words earn him new celebrity. The audience appreciates his candour, and ratings skyrocket. The conglomerate that employs him changes its plans: Howard Beale, ardent prophet, will become the people’s idol. This is the product that will put the network back on track to profitability. But Howard Beale has not had his last word.
The emergence of news as performance, the degradation of the truth, populist exploitation of rage and fear, business owners thirsty for profits... The dark comedy Salle de Nouvelles, Lee Hall’s adaptation of the film Network (1976), takes an unflinching look at the decline of the media industry.
This coproduction between Duceppe, Le Trident, and Théâtre Niveau Parking was first presented in Québec City in 2021. “Denis Bernard portrays to perfection this larger-than-life man who is not okay. A great performance. Intense and impassioned” (Le Journal de Québec), which earned him the best male actor award from the Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre. The production’s slick scenography and powerful staging, which skillfully blur the lines between the televisual codes of the 1970s, 1990s and today, make this show, which was delayed in coming to Montréal by three years, a highly anticipated event that has lost none of its relevance. “Disturbing for the accuracy of its criticisms, this play shows us that knowing the prophecy is not sufficient to change the future.” (Le Soleil)
“Everyone grows accustomed to Howard Beale’s intense rage, which the station uses to increase its ratings. Now more than ever, we are constantly in search of novelty. We tire of things quickly. So we have to go further, push the machine even more.” — Marie-Josée Bastien, director