adapted by Matthew Spangler based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini.

Nottingham Playhouse Wellington Circus N G1 5AF To 18 May.
Tue-Sat 7.45pm Mat 4, 11th May 2.30 9, 15, 16 May 1.30pm.
Audio-described 8 May 1.30pm, 11 May 2.30pm.
BSL Signed 10 May.
Captioned 9 May 7.45pm.
TICKETS: 0115 9419419

then Theatre Royal Brighton 21-25 May.
7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 2.30pm.
BSL Signed 24 May.
TICKETS: 0844 871 7627.

thenLiverpool Playhouse Williamson Square L1 1EL 13 June–6 July 3013.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat 2.30pm 20, 27 June, 4 July; 2pm 22, 29 June, 6 July.
Audio-described 20 June 7.30pm.
Captioned 6 July 2pm.
TICKETS: 0151 709 4776.

Runs 2hr 45min One interval.
Review: Jen Mitchell 29th April.

Khaled Hosseini’s critically acclaimed novel brought to life with intimacy and immediacy.

Exploring complex themes of guilt, redemption, racism, sexuality and rape, The Kite Runner is an epic novel hard to imagine as a play. Matthew Spangler has managed in his adaptation a synthesis which transfers beautifully to the stage, with excellent direction from Giles Croft.

The story of Amir and his friend Hassan spans thirty years and half the world. Opening in 1970s Kabul, Amir and Hassan live in relative innocence. Hassan being Amir’s servant as well as best friend casts barely a shadow on their childhood games. Hassan’s lack of literacy compared to Amir’s skill with the written word allows Amir to entertain or mock Hassan, remains fiercely loyal.

Amir is frustration at his father’s perceived favouritism of Hassan, the most skilful kite runner in Kabul. Amir wins the kite flying competition, gaining favour with his father, but sacrificing his friendship on the same day. It is this act that haunts him throughout the rest of the story.

Ben Turner’s Amir balances narrator and actor, frequently switching between the two in the fast-moving series of episodes in his life, particularly in childhood scenes.

Both Turner and the excellent Farshid Rokey as Hassan manage the difficult task of playing children with ease, showing the guileless exuberance of boyhood friendship and their ensuing loss of innocence.

The search for redemption and forgiveness haunts Amir. As his father and he leave Afghanistan for the west, Amir’s taken aback at his father’s courage shows in defending a woman on the verge of rape by a Russian soldier, compounding his guilt at failing to defend his best friend from the sociopath Assef (Nicholas Karimi).

Emilio Doorgasingh as Baba, Amir’s westernised, whisky-drinking father is outstanding. His personal journey from wealthy businessman to immigrant American gas-station attendant doesn’t lessen his dignity and pride.

The action is played out on Barney George’s simple and stylised back-lit set with projections and lighting that take us from Kabul to San Francisco with ease and allow the free flow of scenes. Adding to the atmosphere is Hanif Khan, on stage throughout underscoring the action with beautiful tabla playing.

Kamal/Zaman: David Ahmad.
Wali: Waleed Akhtar.
General Taheri/Raymond Andrews: Antony Bunsee.
Baba: Emilio Doorgasingh.
Assef: Nicholas Karimi.
Ali/Farid: Ezra Khan.
Rahim Khan/Dr Schneider/Omar Faisal: Nicholas Khan.
Hassan/Sohrab: Farshid Rokey.
Amir: Ben Turner.
Soraya/Mrs Nguyen: Lisa Zahra.
Musician: Hanif Khan.

Director: Giles Croft.
Designer: Barney George.
Lighting: Charles Balfour.
Sound: Drew Baumohl.
Composer: Jonathan Girling.
Projections: William Simpson.
Movement: Kitty Winter.
Accent coach: Sally Hague.
Fight director: Philip d’Orléans.
Associate lighting: Katie Pitt.
Assistant director: Allie Spencer.

2013-05-03 01:13:30

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