19.30 (+sat 14.30)
For those who have never read the Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini’s novel is a haunting tale of friendship between two young boys living in Kabul, Afghanistan, in the 1970s, neither of whom could foresee their worlds being torn apart. The main characters are Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman from the Pashtuns tribe, & Hassan, the son of their servant from the Hazzara tribe. The latter’s social class is seen as the bottom rung, & poor Hassan suffers much from this.
The two boys commence the play lost in the innocent joys of normal childhood, such as flying kites and playing at Cowboys and Indians, but suddenly their world is torn apart. Through the undying loyalty of Hassan and the cowardly ways of Amir, throughout this moving and complex story we witness many twists and turns.
We follow the boys through many periods of the troubles in Afghanistan, from the Soviet intervention, through the rise of the Taliban and finally the American-led invasion in 2001.The two boys stories couldn’t be further apart, with Amir becoming a successful novelist in America, while Hassan is left to fester in his war torn homeland… with tragic consequences. I don’t want to divulge any more of the plot here, but it is real edge-of-your seat stuff & Matthew Spangler’s stage adaption (directed by Giles Croft) is a three hours well spent indeed.
There was a certain sparsity to the stage set that really helped to hammer home the acting, which at times was breath-takingly close to the minutest nuances of human behaviour. This spectacular stage production fully justifies the novel, and I urge anybody to go and see it… I really wish I could give it more than FIVE STARS
Reviewer : Lisa Oswald