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
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 !
Malkovich is not able to lift his performance further than a one-dimensional portrayal of a cynical movie tycoon. Surrounding cast is thin (are some even professional actors?) - the two female leads try hard but interacting with Malkovich is not easy as he is rowing his own boat. This was one performance where it felt hard to applaud at the end of it!
Superb acting,very funny at times with sinister undertones. The sort of play and performances you don’t ever want to finish.
The cast, especially John Malkovich, do what they can to make this play watchable but I just wish the writer - David Mamet had done the same. The positives are that in the first half you do feel total uncomfortable by the way the old male film producer acts towards the younger actress. There’s even some good dialogue in this section. However the stoppages for set changes are ridiculous. The second act is very badly written, boring and it’s not worth staying in the theatre for.
This brilliant play is well worth the ticket price. John Malkovich is in fine form as he dominates the stage with an award winning performance. Funny, gross and disturbing in equal measure don't miss the chance to see this.
I thought Bitter Wheat was good but not great. It’s worth seeing for John Malkovich’s performance, he captures the all powerful movie mogul perfectly and watching him groom his victim and show his true predator self is very uncomfortable, but the play is quite simplistic and could have definitely been deeper & darker. There is a big gap between the initial set up and the final takedown that perhaps could have been tackled with more insight given how short the play is overall. But it is still enjoyable and worth seeing for John Malkovich!
What an enjoyable evening - the entire cast was brilliant and John Malkovich was sensational. Highly recommended.
The play was quite funny and it was great to see Malkovich as part of the main cast. It’s definitely not the best play I’ve ever seen but it was quite enjoyable. It was a nice way to spend our Saturday evening
Excellent script, superb acting. John Malkovich is a master of it.
A wonderful evening of exceptional performances and amazing script. We settled into the bittersweet humour immediately and were captivated by Malkovich’s mindblowingly monstrous character - offset by the wonderful Doon Mackichan as his dubious PA. An intense play tackling controversial issues with dark humour and fabulous talent. A must see. 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️‘s.
A very enjoyable night at the theatre with a powerhouse performance by john Malkovich aided by a bitingly sharp script.
I thought JM’s performance was great but the play lacked substance and depth.
The play was very good. And funny too considering the subject matter. Really strong performances from the entire cast. Really sharp dialogue. Great entertainment.
This play got mixed reviews but only because it satirises the left. The text is fine but John Malkovich is outstanding. Lots of laugh out loud moments but Mamet finely skewers the hypocrisies of awful men like Weinstein.
I had heard Bitter Wheat was quite controversial, and offensive to some, however, if you can manage to see the first act through, this play will leave a lasting impression. John Malkovich is truly sensational.
A tour de force for JM. Can’t understand why some critics gave it a bad review. Highly recommended
Great play, really enjoyed it.
So much has been said about this play, so I went with an open mind. It turned on really excellent acting and a tense first act which was gripping. I loved the second act because it was a comic Shakespearean finish to a hydra headed almost tragic dilemma we were left with at the end of act one. The play was complete. The acting, from all the cast, was terrific.
Malkovitch is overwhelming in every acceptance of the term. The unease is growing, only tempered by witty, icy and hilarious dialogs, as he delivers the full arc of his pathetic character.
If your idea of a good time is watching classy actors delivering streams of dialogue embodying a glib, trivial, nasty little play with more inappropriate distracting laugh lines than I've heard in a while, this play is for you. Malkovitch is magnetic, Ionna Kimbrook is excellent, a bunch of competent actors get four line walk-ons, and the play stinks like week old fish.
An excellent production with a mesmerising performance from John Malkovich.
Fabulous. Riviting from beginning to end. Superb cast. Can't take your eyes off John Malkovich.
With so much material to work with, this could have been so much better. Ordinary play carried by the predigious talent of John Malkovich. Recommended, just to see a genius at work
Loathed the play And walked out
As a working woman it was uncomfortable to watch and experience this play. John M was spellbinding .... utterly believable. Some things were sadly relatable, at some points the joke was really more stinging than funny. It’s important that we see and explore this behaviour for what it is, egomaniac, bullying abuse... not just of the victims of sexual abuse but everyone around them. There are too many men still in business like this today. Let’s use the reality of what this looks like and how it feels to weed them out for they rot they are.
Outstanding, absolute reflection on ‘you know what’ can’t think of enough superlatives to praise this totally class performance.....
I read the reviews and was a little anxious as to what it would be like, but in fact very funny. Made the ‘weinstein’ character look a complete ignorant foolish oaf. I really enjoyed it great fun as long as you don’t take yourself too seriously
Brilliant inventive performance from star John Malkovitch, but other characters two-dimensional and lacking reality. Plot was lazy, almost non-existent. Relied on Mamet's one-liners, which were often fun. For all its critical satire of a Harvey Weinstein type, play was male in outlook and even sympathy. No new light cast on the character or the times, or others who behaved in the same way.
Having read some poor press reviews, I was slightly apprehensive going in but my doubts were unfounded, as it’s a great show. Malkovich is magnetic to watch and despite the subject being a little raw, its very funny. Go and see it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
How many ways can you say awful? Probably the worst play I have ever seen
We booked this play based on John Malkovich and David Mamet. Both exceeded our expectations. What we weren’t prepared for was how difficult the topic would be to unfold before our eyes. Bravo for bringing such difficult subject matter front and center
we liked it I want to say it could be a bit more louder speaking, the voices, could not hear everything ?
Can’t understand why the bad press reviews.
Occasional funny line but the narrative was preposterous Should have left at the Interval but hoped it would get better - it didn't! I fear Mamet is a has been
I would highly recommend this play
Despite the professional critics not liking the play which had it's shortcomings it was great to see John Malkovich in spellbinding top form and it's my impression is that the entire audience thought so too.
When is it showing
Today - 21 Sep 2019
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