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John Malkovich to Play Disgraced Hollywood Mogul in Timely New David Mamet Play

Bitter Wheat will have its world premiere this summer.

John Malkovich will star in the new David Mamet play Bitter Wheat.
(© David Gordon)

Bitter Wheat, a timely new play by David Mamet about the downfall of a Hollywood film producer, will have its world premiere in London, producers have announced. Previews will begin at the Garrick Theatre on June 7, with opening night set for June 19. Mamet directs.

The production will star John Malkovich as Barney Fein, a character described as "a depraved Hollywood mogul." Malkovich will be joined by actors Doon Mackichan and Ioanna Kimbrook, with further casting to be announced.

The full synopsis of Bitter Wheat is as follows: "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 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. A new play starring John Malkovich, 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.'"

The creative team is made up of Christopher Oram (scenic and costume design) and Neil Austin (lighting design). Jeffrey Richards and Smith & Brant Theatricals serve as producers.

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