THE KITE RUNNER (play)
NOT SUITABLE FOR THOSE AGED UNDER 14. CONTAINS ADULT THEMES AND STRONG
Afghanistan is a divided country on the verge of war and two childhood
friends are about to be torn apart. It’s a beautiful afternoon in Kabul
and the skies are full of the excitement and joy of a kite flying
tournament. But neither Hassan or Amir can foresee the terrible incident
which will shatter their lives forever.
In 2013, Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse
pulled off an extraordinary theatrical coup and secured the rights to
stage the European premiere of The Kite Runner. The subsequent
production toured the UK and was hailed as a theatrical tour de force by
both the public and critics.
With a script completed before the release of the feature film
adaptation, the play was first produced in San Francisco in 2009 by The
San Jose Repertory, and won five San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics’
Joining Ben Turner in the lead role of Amir are Emilio Doorgasingh (as
Baba), Nicholas Khan (Rahim Khan), Lisa Zahra (Soraya), David Ahmad (Kamal),
Ezra Khan (Ali), Nicholas Karimi (Assef), Antony Bunsee (General Taheri),
Hanif Khan (Tabla Player), Bhavin Bhatt (Wali / Doctor), Andrei Costin
(Hassan / Sohrab), Johndeep More (ensemble), Natasha Karp (ensemble).
Not available. Professional reviewers all note the faithful adaptation of the
book and very simple staging - with kite presence as required. There's plenty of
praise for Ben Turner as merchant's son Amir and friend Hassan (Andrei Costin),
too as well as director Giles Croft and the entire first half of the play.
Then reviews take a split. For some, the enthralling tale grips them to the
end. For others, the second half seems rushed and though hitting a dramatic
climax, doesn't particularly move as it might. Too long and lacking atmosphere
for those writers.
As one reviewer put it, the book contained more feeling, but this was at
least consistently watchable if not always enthralling. A different piece for
London, seems to be the verdict.
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