The multi award-winning actor John Malkovich returns to the West End stage after nearly 30 years to play Barney Fein, a top dog Hollywood producer in Bitter Wheat, a new play by the legendary author, director and playwright David Mamet inspired by the Weinstein scandal. It will preview at the Garrick Theatre on 7 June 2019 with a press night on 19 June and will be directed by Mamet.
Malkovich, one of the world’s most revered actors, is best known for his many films including Dangerous Liaisons, Being John Malkovich, Con Air and Mulholland Drive. He recently received widespread critical acclaim playing Hercule Poirot in a new BBC TV Agatha Christie adaptation.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Mamet has written some of the most iconic plays of the last 50 years including Sexual Perversity in Chicago, American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow, and Oleanna.
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. Our hero, Barney Fein, is a bloated monster – a studio head, who, like his predecessor, the minotaur, devours the young he has lured to 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.
Also in the cast are Doon Mackichan as Barney Fein’s assistant Sondra and Ioanna Kimbook as Yung Kim Li. Mackichan is well known for her extensive TV work which includes creating and starring in the hit comedy series Smack the Pony for Channel 4, Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, Plebs for ITV2 and Two Doors Down for the BBC. Kimbook will make her debut theatre performance in Bitter Wheat. Further casting is to be announced.
Joining Mamet on the creative team are designer Christopher Oram and lighting designer Neil Austin.