Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a novel about change. It chronicles the progression of two inseparable friends, Amir and Hassan, and how their relationship is forever altered after an unspeakable event. Afghanistan, the country the story is rooted in, is a character in its own right: ever-changing, for the better or for the worse, over a period of four decades.
Hosseini is credited by many as being one of the most prominent voices of his nation and generation. His narrative affords the reader to feel genuine affection towards the country that is known – or not, as the case may be – to many of us solely through the lenses of war correspondents. Hosseini’s Afghanistan is presented in a completely different way: it is sometimes beautiful, often harrowing, but always gripping.
The Kite Runner is a powerful text that has been critically and commercially acclaimed, with the book spending 101 weeks on the US bestsellers list.
In 2007, the film adaption of the novel was met with much anticipation, and received nominations for best foreign language film from the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Now, following a successful run on the West End, the national tour is making its penultimate stop at the Theatre Royal Brighton.
With direction from Giles Croft, the visionary behind recent successful runs of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia and Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men, this adaption promises to be poignant and thought-provoking, but the question that remains on many people’s minds is: will it do justice to the novel that so many have read, re-read, and loved? With Croft having a wealth of experience is directing well-loved texts, and having been the former Literary Manager at the National Theatre, the odds are very high.
In 2013, Khaled Hosseini said in an interview that “if [he] could go back now, [he would] take The Kite Runner apart”. With this adaption by Matthew Spangler featuring live music and artful projection, I am hopeful that this will be a re-structuring that Hosseini himself would be proud of.
The Kite Runner shows at the Theatre Royal Brighton at the following times:
7:45pm on Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 November (Thursday 16 will be a captioned performance)
2:30pm on Wednesday 15, Thursday 16 and Saturday 18 November
Tickets: From £14
Image Credit: Betty Laura Zapata