Thrillingly for Londoners, the play will get its world premiere at the West End's Garrick Theatre – with multi-award-winning actor John Malkovich returning to the stage after a 33 year absence to play a 'depraved Hollywood mogul'. Promising to pop the pustules of corruption with bitter humour, the play blurb describes a mythic journey from power to shame.
Mamet is on familiar territory with the movie industry and the nasty cycle of sexual harassment: 1988 hit Speed-The-Plow satirized Hollywood one-up-manship; 1992 play Oleanna followed a professor accused of sexual misconduct; and Mamet's own experience writing screenplays means he has the inside perspective on the film industry's power dynamic.
Discussing the issues of consent and abuse in an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Mamet said: 'Every society has to confront the ungovernable genie of sexuality and tries various ways to deal with it and none of them work very well... People go crazy. They start tearing each other to bits.'
And Bitter Wheat certainly sets out to rip apart the status quo. Mamet's claws are razor sharp as he positions this new satire brazenly close to the headline-grabbing true accounts of Harvey Weinstein's demise. Our hero in Bitter Wheat is Barney Fein (say it fast and it basically rhymes with Weinstein...). He is 'a bloated monster – a studio head, who like his predecessor, the minotaur, devours the young he has lured into his cave'.
It's a role so dark and juicy it has enticed a real Hollywood colossus back to the theatre. John Malkovich will return to the stage after 33 years of making movies to play top dog producer at the core of the corruption.
With over 70 films to his name, John Malkovich is big screen royalty. But before Dangerous Liaisons, Being John Malkovich and Mulholland Drive made him a household name, Malkovich's career began on stage. As a founding member of Chicago's esteemed Steppenwolf Theatre Company he starred in the likes of True West, Of Mice and Men, The Dumb Waiter and directed the works of Harold Pinter and Don Delillo. Bitter Wheat will be the first time he works with David Mamet.
Malkovich will be joined on the Garrick stage by a TV comedy star Doon Mackichan (Smack the Pony) as Sondra, the producer's assistant.
The combination of salacious satire and established talents make Bitter Wheat a hot ticket. Book early to avoid disappointment.
|What||Bitter Wheat, Garrick Theatre|
|Where||Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0HH | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
07 Jun 19 – 21 Sep 19, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and tickets|