Bitter Wheat at Garrick Theatre tickets
Bitter Wheat at Garrick Theatre tickets

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About the show

The Pulitzer-winning playwright David Mamet returns with a brand new play, starring the legendary John Malkovich. Bitter Wheat casts an eye into the dark depths of Hollywood, taking Harvey Weinstein and the burgeoning conversation around sexuality and consent as its inspiration. Hotly anticipated and very much of our current moment, this is a play that demands attention. The world premiere opens at the West End’s Garrick Theatre on 7 June 2019.

Bitter Wheat charts the drop from power to shame of studio head Barney Fein (John Malkovich), a monstrous individual who lures the young into his cave to be consumed. This is Hollywood, where sex, power and money intersect. It’s a place where anything can be bought and perversity goes unchecked. In other words, it is rotten to its core.

David Mamet has found huge success not only as a playwright, but as a film director, screenwriter and author. His work for the stage was last seen in the West End with the 2017 revival of Glengarry Glen Ross starring Christian Slater. Among the many awards he has collected is a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and he also counts a raft of nominations to his name. Mamet is both writer and director of Bitter Wheat.

The production marks the end of Malkovich’s 33-year stage performance hiatus. The actor seems omnipresent in cinema, having appeared in over 70 films. That includes cult classic Being John Malkovich and the 2018 thriller Bird Box. He has trodden the boards in New York, L.A and London, and counts True West and Death of a Salesman among his stage credits. In 2016 he directed the Rose Theatre's production of Good Canary.

In the role of Barney Fein’s assistant, Sondra, is Doon Mackichan. Perhaps best known as the creator and star of hit sketch show Smack the Pony, she has also appeared in comedy series Brass Eye, Alan Partridge, Toast of London and more. Her London stage credits include The Government Inspector at the Young Vic and Jumpy at the Royal Court.

Ioanna Kimbook makes her debut theatre performance as Yung Kim Li. The actress graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2018.

The cast is rounded out by Alexander Arnold, Teddy Kempner, Matthew Pidgeon and Zephryn Taitte.

A truthful, confronting, plack-as-pitch farce, this is the great playwright at his scathing best. Bitter Wheat plays at the Garrick Theatre from 7 June until 14 September 2019.

Recommended for

Fans of John Malkovich will rejoice to see the iconic actor back on stage after so long. Those who enjoyed Mamet’s previous plays, such as Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow, won’t want to miss the playwright’s latest offering.

Age Recommendations: Recommended 16+

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours (including interval)
Opened: 07 Jun 2019
Booking from: 20 Sep 2019
Booking until: 21 Sep 2019

Location and map

Garrick Theatre
Charing Cross Road
London, WC2H 0HH

96 Reviews Add review

John Malkovich was, of course, brilliant! He was the reason I decided to see the play. The play itself was I suppose controversial,... More

chriswilliams 5'10" (about 180cm), 13 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Bitter Wheat is a dark comedy in which a powerful and maniacal man takes advantage of those around him. Whilst the comedy was never... More

MrMHurst 5"9', 33 reviews, 14 helpful votes

Being a huge fan of John Malkovich it was amazing to see him back at the West End after 30 years. Even though this show was 'serious'... More

simonerogers 5'2, 38 reviews, 2 helpful votes

The cast - particularly Ioanna Kimbook and, of course, John Malkovich - are incredible, and the show itself, even during the more controversial... More

Sunderland2 5' 7", 84 reviews, 21 helpful votes

A recent topical issue that was performed with suitable levels of awkwardness throughout. The show was a comfortable length with an... More

pl6125 186cm, 28 reviews, 0 helpful votes

An interesting and at times witty play by David Mamet. John Malkovich plays the lead role of a Hollywood producer (Harvey Weinstein... More

theatrekid88 5", 70 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Critics haven’t loved it, but if you go to see wonderful acting and great entertainment rather than for intellectualising and looking... More

leepeddie 176, 39 reviews, 0 helpful votes

An impressive perform by John Malkovich in what is a very topical play in the Me Too / Times Up movement. Equally funny and unsettling. More

LondonLass 5"1, 248 reviews, 14 helpful votes

Malkovich is great and delivers an entertaining, darkly comic script. Funny and shocking but worth seeing.

jaimecretten 5 "9, 131 reviews, 1 helpful vote