Hollywood is a hell hole.
Everything in Hollywood is for sale except the awards, which are for rent. Bitter Wheat is a play about a depraved Hollywood mogul. It rips the pashmina off the suppurating wound which is show business, and leaves us better human beings, and fitter to once more confront the horror of life.
Our hero, Barney Fein, is a bloated monster – a studio head, who like his predecessor, the minotaur, devours the young he has lured into his cave. His fall from power to shame is a mythic journey which has been compared to The Odyssey by people who claim to have read that book.
Starring John Malkovich as Barney Fein, Doon Mackichan as Sondra, Ioanna Kimbrook as Yung Kim Li are, Alexander Arnold as Roberto, Teddy Kempner as Doctor Wald, Matthew Pidgeon as The Writer and Zephryn Taitte as Charles Arthur Brown.
A new play starring John Malkovich in his return to the stage after 33 years, written and directed by David Mamet in a good mood. Funnier than The Iceman Cometh – more chaos than Richard III, and without all the stupid, so called ‘poetry’. Money, sex, power, you only need one of them to see Bitter Wheat – at the Garrick.
‘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
Thoroughly enjoyed played. Laughed out loud several time,, which is more than I can say of some plays that are meant to be funny .Very well done. Would recommend it
The dialogues or better the monologues were non intellectual, non political, all swearing, macho oriented. Can't say if there is a purpose in this choice as to portray the mediocrity of Hollywood personal or Mamet has just lost the 'plot' in this 'comedic' play. I did not like Malkovich as well.
Fantastic. Went on the final day. the acting was fab, the actors were funny and the story is quite current.
Malcovich was amazing
John Malkovich nailed the role of the predatory Jewish, overweight, ADHD ridden Hollywood producer. We laughed until we cried. A must see.
Great first half .jaw dropping Performances but ran out of steam in act 2
Had read mixed reviews but thoroughly enjoyed the play and the writing was crisp and sharp too - and great to see John Malkovich on stage - he’s magnificent!!
We saw this as a group of 6 and we all loved it. Malkovich gives a wonderful performance just fantastic but the rest of the cast are also amazing. Topical and although shocking it was also funny We were entertained but also challenged by the the topics covered Highly recommended.
John Malcovich never disappoints; his intensity, complete believability and the sickening role itself combined to create a deliciously horrible tension. I found myself inwardly urging Ionna to just cqpitulate already -- the tension & his persuasive persistence were so great. Not my usual morals at all! What just happened?! Very effective play, well acted.. Intense, though running time is short. It's a lot of play in a short time!
Fantastic, funny, outrageous; loved every minute. So good, I’ve seen it twice!
Yes, Malkovich plays a truly despicable character. You would never want to encounter him in real life. But he is immensely entertaining on stage.
We had read the reviews that were very harsh but went to see the play with an open mind. The subject is controversial and uncomfortable (think Harvey Weinstein) and the character is intentionally loathsome but the (almost) monologue ramblings of John Malkovich’s character are mesmerising. We were in the front row and had eye contact with John so maybe that helped us appreciate the intensity more. Not sure it would have felt the same without that intimacy. It’s not soulful culture and you come away feeling a bit negative but when you analyse that you realise that’s where the performances were so good but distracted by the ugliness of the character and story
Exceeded our expectations. quite dark, but brilliantly done. The cast were magnificent, with John being our absolute favourite!!
It was a fantastic chance to see John Malkovich on the stage. Not as much as I expected, but the play was fun. It is definitely worth to go.
Topical, well written fast paced and clever this was a real treat and add John Malkovitch into the mix and you have a fantastic experience of theatre.
Malkovich’s brilliant portrayal of Hollywood from; until recently a less known, less talked about perspective. Mamet has created, through Malkovich’s satiric delivery, a parody of the power held by the producer. John Malkovich is the best! I’m going to see the play for Again,, front row second time around.
It was truly amazing!
I was super exited to see John Malkovich on stage. His performance as well as his younger colleague were really good. However, I disliked the play. I didn't have any thoughts after the play and I like when an evening theater provokes reflection...
Such energy pours from every bone in John Malkovich s body. A play so powerful you don't want it to end!
Funny , serious and requires some intelligence to understand the scenarios and distraction techniques involved. Was a great atmosphere everyone was laughing and having serious debates during the interval as it was extremely realistic and possibly close to home. Well worth the watch
Really enjoyed the play as a vehicle for John Malkovich to strut his stuff although there wasn’t much for the other cast members to do. He plays a monster and a stupid one at that so you laugh at his expense. Loads of one-liners. No deep insights but we know what we think anyway.
Most unpleasant play with a character with no redeeming features We had no insight into what made him so abusive and out of control A shame that John Malkovich has come back to London theatre to be associated with this project. This play had nowhere near the same quality of some of David Mamets previous writing
John Malkovich was excellent and played his character with style, it was a joy to see him on stage, the other actors really complimented his performance. All in all this was an excellent production with all the actors giving a great performance.
A magnificently towering performance from JM that despite superb acting from the supporting cast, JM steals the show in a hilarious but at times cringe -worthy script, that hits home at what apparently seems to have been how Tinseltown operated for many decades. An outstanding and long awaited return to the London stage and a great debut from Ioanna Kimbrook as well as a hilarious performance from Don Mackichan as his long suffering assistant.
I had expected much better of Mamet. This is poorly constructed, lacking in depth or breadth and uncertain of its direction. Richard II or Woody Allen? Deep tragedy or comedy at the edge? Search me. The cast did what they could. But it was not enough to carry this lame text. Don’t go! Whatever the discount it’s not worth it.
IT was hilarious to see John in such a funny Role. To not take this stuff he says so serious, but the believe of this role doing nothing wrong is stunning. What a dumb man the Original is... All actors are great and Malcovich gives them place to glow. Such a delight seeing John onstage
John Malkovich was outstanding Doon Mackichan was great Overall the acting fell flat - Ioanna Kimbrook disappointed for such an important role Worth the ticket purchase if you want to see John on stage - which is rare. Topic is very present day and easy to follow and even relate to.
An extremely disquieting and thought-provoking play.
An amusing tale of power and corruption in the Hollywood hills. John Malkovich treads a fine line between arrogant fool and narcissistic monster as the main character and succeeds in making us laugh out loud and reel back in horror. Some may find a few of the scenes uncomfortable, but surely that is the point. The second half lost the savvy wit of the first half, unfortunately. It appeared Mamet had had enough of the characters and decided to end it quickly and unconvincingly. But I'm glad I made the trip to see it and I had a thoroughly fine evening.
A fantastic play that was funnier than expected & scarily true to life. The whole cast were brilliant & it was a real treat to see Malkovich live. Would totally recommend this play.
John, clearly the high light , was holding the play together. The rest was fresh out of acting school. The text does not reflect the issues addressed and it’s controversy
This was an enjoyable portrayal of "Harvey" but not what I expected. Malkovich is fantastic as he wobbles around the play and does a spot on character portrayal of this loathsome man...down to the bad shoes and ill fitting suit. It does leave those who want justice a bit unfulfilled, but perhaps this is the point of the play.
A treat to see John Malkovich. The production balances on a narrow line between drama/comedy. At times uncomfortable - should I laugh, get cross, or be appalled. A timely piece.
This was one of the best plays we have seen in a long while. What can you say about John Malkovich - he is a genius and absolutely brought the character he was playing to life. Also Doon Mackichan was a revelation. Her facial expressions and exasperation with her boss was wonderful. I hope this play wins awards, if not it will be a travesty.
The best play of the summer season with Malcovich delivering a focused performance worthy of a world premier. Mamet provided an artistic drama with an obvious but thoughtful plot. Marvellous use of exageration and a black humour which really exposed corruption and harassment in any environment where power corupts. All performances were excellent and loved Teddy Kempner as Dr Wald. Thanks to all for super entertainment. Barney I hate you.
A great performance by John M, although i felt the script could have been better written. Worth going to see just for John M's performance and tickets are well priced, so enjoyable theatre.
John Malkovich's performance left me speachless: he is just great and there aren't enough words to describe how amazing he is on stage! I have always admired John Malkovich and to see him on stage was just unbelievable. My son is studying drama and I wanted him to see such a great actor on stage...no doubt he was overwhelmed and inspired. Everybody is absolutely fabulous, but I would like to mention Doon Mackichan whose performance was amazing.
Critics had made me apprehensive but was fantastic
It was painful to watch how such a great actor as Mr Malcovics, was doing everything possible and impossible to pull out badly writen play with some random actors. In this boring play l could see just 5 percent of Mr Malkovics talant, it was quite upsetting
A great performance by a master
Excellent play, humour and John Malkovich. Clever satire of the left, very brave!
Overall was good, but John Malkovich was outstanding. I could watch him all day long.
John Malkovich is just a brilliant actor. The subject matter is not so important as to see him performing !! Dont miss it.
For thirty years or more I have been reading and watching the work of David Mamet. And for the past ten I have been watching him come undone. What happened, my hero? American Buffalo. Glengarry Glen Ross. Speed-the-Plow. Oleanna. And then - Race, The Anarchist, The Penitent, China Doll...downwards decline accelerating...to this! "Bitter Wheat". Bitter, indeed, to anyone who loves the Master. Mamet's newest play is quite simply unwatchable, a mash-up of feeble jumbled careless plot and dialogue, acted out on stage with no feeling by a John Malkovitch who seemed to be thinking about something else throughout, backed up by a cast whose only common theme was a palpable undercurrent of uneasiness at being in this awful, hastily thrown together mishmash. David, where are you? Come back.
Really enjoyed the show, thrilling performance from John Malkovich. The very fast-paced show, I suggest paying attention to every minute of it!
excellent. John Malkovich is magnificent.
A dark topic dealt with a surprising amount of humour in the script which did not belittle the serious of the topic. Fantastic acting from all including body movements. Went with high expectations which were exceeded.
Fantastic, funny and deals with very real issues- a big challenge to take on a role like that !
Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0HH
No exchanges available after purchase
Written & Directed by David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross, Sexual Peversity in Chicago)
Starring John Malkovich
2 hours 20 minutes
Good To Know
Please be aware no star or actor is guaranteed to perform and may be off due to holiday or illness
How Does It Work
You will receive a booking confirmation email.
If you have chosen to collect at the venues box office, please print the booking confirmation and bring it on the day, a minimum of 30 minutes before the performance start time. You will also need to present the card used to purchase the tickets as valid ID.
If you have chosen E-ticket, you can download your voucher from your booking confirmation. Please print your voucher – it is your ticket of admission. Bring the voucher to the theatre. We recommend you arrive 30 minutes before the show to settle into your seats.
Suitable For Children
Recommended For - Over 16s only.
When Can I Go
Friday 7th June - Saturday 14th September 2019
- Monday - Saturday - 7.30pm
- Thursday + Saturday - 2.30pm
Where Do I Go
Address: Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HH
- By Tube- Leicester Square or Charing Cross
- By Train- Charing Cross
- By Bus-3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 24, 29, 30