Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Kite Runner At Nottingham Playhouse REVIEW

As part of the Nottingham Playhouse's 50th Anniversary season, the European Premier of The Kite Runner is showing at the Playhouse until May 18th.

Based on the best selling book by Khaled Hosseini and adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler,
The Kite Runner opens in the mid 1970s in politically unsettled Afghanistan and we meet Amir and Hassan, two boys who have been raised together. One is the master's son and the other a servant. They play together like best friends but their ethnic differences means that Amir is a Pashtun, who are considered superior to Hazzaras like Hassan. Amir and Hassan enjoy competing together in the annual kite tournament. Kites fill the sky and try to cut the strings of the other kites until only the winner is left, Hassan is a Kite Runner, who chases down fallen kites to catch them where they land. A horrific incident makes their friendship fall apart and leads Amir to take actions and feel a guilt that pervades through Amir's life for many years, until he is given the opportunity to make amends for his past actions and to be good again.

It's a powerful story of love, friendship, betrayal, atonement and finally redemption. It's the most human of tales told against the unsettled Afghanistan backdrop. For fans of the novel, you won't be disappointed and for newcomers to the story you will be captivated.  But be warned, make sure you take some tissues, as your heartstrings will be tugged and tears may flow.

Ben Turner plays Amir and Farshid Rokey plays Hassan and together they make convincing best friends, playing together and teasing each other with a darker tinge as Amir makes fun of Hassan's lack of education and Hassan is loyal to the point that he will sacrifice everything to protect his friend. The adult Amir narrates the story, coming out of scenes to move the story along. This is needed as so much happens in the years that follow, Amir's narration is the glue that holds the story together.

Go and see The Kite Runner if you don't mind crying in public and you want to learn a little about the troubled history of Afghanistan. A bitter-sweet story that starts in innocence and ends with a little bit of hope, having gone on a very interesting journey in between.

The Kite Runner is on until 18th May
Tickets £7.50-£27
14+ due to adult themes and occasional use of strong language
Full details can be found on the Nottingham Playhouse website here


  1. Saw it on the opening night with a group of friends and friends of friends.
    How funny it is to cry together with people you barely know!
    This is an absolutely fantastic production with very convincing performances. A good translation from page to stage.
    Wonderful. Go and see it!!!

  2. Saw the play in Brighton today. Wonderful staging. Very powerful. Ben Turner is really good. As said before, don't forget to take your tissues!


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