The Kite Runner Review

Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham – until 6th July

Reviewed by Jacqui Radford


Based on the novel written by Khaled Hosseini, this production written by Matthew Spangler adds a powerful punch to the themes that are woven through the storyline. From the outset, the production draws you into a powerful reflection on the effect of conflict on relationships between generations, family, communities and nations.

The play is effectively an insight into the reflections of the main character, Amir (played by Stuart Vincent) on his own guilt and regrets. Amir recounts his experiences of growing up in Afghanistan, raised by his father in a large house through times of political and civil unrest. His regret stems from the effect of these on his closest relationship with Hassan (played by Yazdan Qafouri).

Hassan and Amir grew up together in the same house; one of them a servant boy (Hassan). Amir reflects on the innocence of childhood and its lack of prejudice and judgement. However, the storyline shuttles between joyful recounts of kite running and roaming in safety to heart wrenching moments of bullying, harassment and violence motivated by prejudice.

The audience is subject to an emotional rollercoaster that includes joy in the shared moments of childhood, stunned silence at the unfathomable effect of prejudice and judgement, and utter grief at opportunity lost.

This production has a depth to it that is evoked by a careful and professional mix of narrative, casting, music and stage setting. Every scene prompts the audience to really think about the consequences of conflict and connect with the communities affected by it.

For me, this production had a lasting effect. Not only are the themes within it thought provoking but the combination of all production elements is awe inspiring. It sets the bar high for a 5***** review.