John Malkovich Hits the Westend with Bitter Wheat

To the excitement of the fans, American actor John Malkovich travelled across the pond to show us how it feels like to be a fly on the wall in the Weinstein’s office.

John Malkovich (Barney Fein) Bitter Wheat (pic by Manuel Harlan)

John Malkovich (Barney Fein) Bitter Wheat (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

The humour will save the world. At the very least, it can unite us without the patronising lecturing.

Self-pitying, manipulative, bullying, arrogant and all-over obnoxious, the portrayal of the movie mogul Barney Fein by Malkovich is unmistakably copied from the disgraced Weinstein. So is Barney’s costume – heavily padded to copy the body shape, paired with baggy suit and trousers and even typical Weinstein’s shoes.

The new drama by Mamet reveals all that is wrong with the abuse of power in Hollywood. Starting from corrupt awards ceremonies all the way to the casting couch practices: ‘I’ll make you famous if you sleep with me – or at least give me an 8-minute blowjob’ scenario. Barney Fein is skilful in ‘buying out’, intimidating and bullying everyone around him. Not least, the Korean-English actress Yung Kim Li (Ioanna Kimbook’s debut) for a promise of stardom. Doon Mackichan excelled in her role as Barney Fein’s (Weinstein) PA.

Ioanna Kimbook (Yung Kim Li), John Malkovich (Barney Fein) Bitter Wheat (pic by Manuel Harlan)

Ioanna Kimbook (Yung Kim Li), John Malkovich (Barney Fein) Bitter Wheat (pic by Manuel Harlan)

This time however it doesn’t end well for the movie mogul…

Played out on the stage, morose topics and #MeToo clichés widely covered in the mainstream media over the past two years, elicit laugh among the public. The humour will save the world. At the very least, it can unite us without the patronising lecturing. If you think so too, you should head to the Garrick theatre for some self-reflection and dark humour.

Cast of Bitter Wheat

While utterly brilliant, the play is hardly controversial, however. Having watched it, I can’t stop thinking about how amusing it would be to see the tables turned. A powerful movie executive being exploited and used by starlet actresses for their own gain – instant stardom… Unless you are utterly naïve, you must accept that things like that also happen. But it’s Mamet’s play and he made it the way he wanted of course.

The season runs until Saturday 21 September 2019. You can buy the tickets for The Bitter Wheat here.

 

 

 

 

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