Friday 26th April 2013 saw the European Stage premiere of the The Kite Runner, at the Nottingham Playhouse. I went along with no expectations and no real understanding of the story, just murmurs of how great the book is and how this will be an interesting show.
In the auditorium we were greeted by the soothing sounds of hand drums and singing bowls, setting the scene and aiding people to their seats. The set, very basic, but the ambiance was strangely warm and dry.
In the opening credits we were introduced to the country, to the people, to the day to day hustle and bustle of Afghanistan at that time, and to Amir, the main character, played by Ben Turner.
Amir was your narrator, your link to the story, and not only played himself as an adult, but as a child. The way he played his younger self was incredible, and really took you back to his childhood, yet could snap into narrator mode or adult Amir with clear distinction.
Amir was an only child, living with his father, who was a self made man, and was brought up along side his servant and his best friend- Hassan played by Farshid Rokey
In this modern age, it was warming to be taken back to a childhood when playing for hours outside, simple games and adventures with your friends and siblings, was all we lived for, and something that a lot of people can relate to, across the globe.
Amir and Hassan lived very much like brothers, and as the story unfolds, aim to be the best Kite Runners and win the Kite festival.
Kite Runner is a very emotional story, you feel a great deal of empathy for the main character, who for most of his life, strayed away from sticking up for himself, for his best friend and having to deal with the consequences of not only being truthful, but how the country was changing, peoples political beliefs, and the effects of war, leaving the place you knew as home and adapting to a new life in another country.
Amir always sought to make his father proud and went out of his way to achieve that, even by lying.
This story is about relationships, it’s about truth, it’s about the effects of war and the effects of lying. For a person such as myself, who had no idea about the story, Kite Runner has made me want to read the book, made me want to know more about the writer and their circumstances at the time, made me want to learn about Afghanistan and the troubles that country was facing, even back then in the 80s, the political information, what lead the country to change and how it has effected how we see Afghanistan today.
This is an honest, emotive adaptation of the book, written by Khaled Hossenini, and definitely worth seeing at the Theatre.