There may be a whiff of sensationalised cliché to this world premiere of Bitter Wheat, but no matter. Mamet’s subject is timely and relevant and Malkovich’s performance is electrifying.
Bitter Wheat, the most controversial play of the year, is almost certainly also going to be the worst.
It could be said that Bitter Wheat lifts the lid on the exploitation of power in the film industry, but it eaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Perhaps that was also part of David Mamet’s intention.
Bitter Wheat is not only frustratingly irresponsible in its treatment of the events that led to the #MeToo movement, it is also a poorly constructed drama.
I will give Bitter Wheat the benefit of doubt, maybe Mamet will write a sensitive portrayal from the women’s point of view but based on his previous work I am sceptical.
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.
There’s nowt so queer as folk, at least not in Simon Godwin’s version of Illyria here. A gender-swapped Malvolia longs after her mistress Olivia, hipster-fop Sir Andrew Aguecheek is entirely smitten by a flirtatious Toby Belch, Antonio follows up his snog with Sebastian by inviting him to a rendez-vous at local drag bar The Elephant.
Somewhat appropriately in the week following International Men’s Day with its theme this year of male suicide, two shows tackling the subject open in London.