Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for David Mamet’s latest play starring John Malkovich.
The Guardian: ** “No fiction, as Mamet’s play proves, can ever quite match the hideousness of Hollywood reality.”
The Independent: *** “Bitter Wheat never fully reveals the psychological depths of this depraved character, or the motivations of those around him who enabled such abuse of power.”
The Jewish Chronicle: ** “Malkovich and Mamet’s portrait of an amoral man is entertaining and strewn with the savage dialogue that makes Mamet one of the world’s greatest living playwrights. Yet this work feels half-written and rushed, and so one-dimensional that the figure at the core of the play ultimately becomes a bit of a bore.”
The Stage: * “Questions of theme aside, this really isn’t anywhere near Mamet’s best. For one thing, he can’t find any other way to change scene than literally stop the show for a few minutes, twice, while a new set is rumbled on behind the safety curtain.”
WhatsOnStage: * “Doon Mackichan, as the loyal, patient PA who acts as Fein’s enabler and support, and Ioanna Kimbook making an impressive West End debut as the actress who is lured into his traps, they both do their best with virtually unplayable and criminally under-written roles. All the other characters are walk ons, there to allow a joke or two. It is shocking in all the wrong ways.”
Culture Whisper: * “a smug, smutty story about powerful men, by powerful men is the last thing we need.”
Exeunt Magazine: “Pasting an easy target like Bitter Wheat could be fun, but honestly it just makes me feel weary. It didn’t make me feel angry or offended – just childishly fed up. It was boring. I didn’t like it.”
The Telegraph: ** “No American playwright has done more to show modern men behaving madly, badly, stupidly and seedily than David Mamet. Whether it’s guys on the bottom-rung (American Buffalo) or guys at top-table (Speed-the-Plow), he has proved a master in the art of observing driven egos under financial, psychological and hormonal pressure.”
Time Out: ** “Really, what is the point? Why stage this? I write with weariness, not anger. Because it’s all too tiresome, and too predictable. Turns out, nope, we really didn’t need a Harvey Weinstein play, written by a man and from a male perspective. The whole thing leaves you feeling… grubby.”
iNews: ** “Mamet doesn’t even bother to give his play a proper ending; he might just as well have zoomed in on Malkovich giving us a big wink. The theatrical equivalent of clickbait.”
London Theatre.co.uk: * “For a play that sets its stall as a black comedy, however, it is no laughing matter – in any sense.”
Broadway World: ** “Perhaps in a few years, once the Weinstein scandal has been fully dealt with through various legal systems and other alleged sexual predators face the same scrutiny, Bitter Wheat could be looked at again with fresh eyes and find its place in society. In the here and now, however, it cannot hope to do good – as has been the norm throughout history, women’s voices are once again being drowned out by that of a man.”
Bitter Wheat continues to play at the Garrick Theatre. To book tickets click here or visit: See Tickets, Love Theatre.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Encore Tickets, Last Minute.com, West End Theatre Breaks or From the Box Office.