Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Mamet’s newest play will receive its world premiere in 2019, starring John Malkovich at the Garrick Theatre. Tackling Hollywood’s biggest scandals in its own way, Bitter Wheat is about a Hollywood producer who falls from grace as one of the leading figures in the industry.
★★★★★ ’Skin-crawlingly magnificent. I was absolutely riveted to my seat. Mail On Sunday
★★★★ ‘Malkovich is rightly revolting in Mamet’s furious take on Hollywood’ The Sunday Times
‘I could have watched this captivating freak-show until midnight and beyond’ The Spectator
John Malkovich will play the role of Hollywood producer, Barney Fein. Starting his performing career as part of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, he starred in productions of The Glass Menagerie and True West, also directing plays for the company. As well as starring on stage, Malkovich has gained reputation as an esteemed film actor, nominated for 2 Oscars for his performances in In the Line of Fire and Places in the Heart and credits including Being John Malkovich. In 2016, Malkovich directed The Good Canary at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, however Bitter Wheat will mark Malkovich’s return to the West End since the 1992 production of Slip of the Tongue at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
Doon Mackichan will star alongside Malkovich as Sondra, Fein’s assistant. On stage, she has performed in productions of Twelfth Night, The Queen and I and The Government Inspector, but she is perhaps best known for her television work in programmes including Knowing Me, Knowing You and Plebs.
Ioanna Kimbook will make her professional debut in Bitter Wheat.
The cast is completed by Alexander Arnold, Teddy Kempner, Matthew Pidgeon and Zephryn Taitte.
Bitter Wheat centres around Barney Fein, a fictional Hollywood mogul. Once a leading figure in the American film industry, he falls from a great position of power into a shamed character in and around Hollywood.
David Mamet felt compelled to write Bitter Wheat after seeing developments in allegations relating to recent behaviour in Hollywood. Earlier plays written by David Mamet have not shied away from controversial discussion. In 1992, his play Oleanna premiered in America, telling the story between a male university professor and a female student, with the female student accusing him of sexual exploitation.
David Mamet won a Pulitzer Prize for Glengarry Glen Ross, first performed in 1983, detailing the lives of four real estate agents in Chicago who are prepared to break the law in order to get ahead.
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