Reviewed by Darryl Ryznar
The Kite Runner play, based on the novel of the same name by Khaled Hosseini, follows the tragic story of two young friends growing up in Afghanistan in 1970s. Shy and retiring Amir (David Ahmad) and loyal Hassan (Jo Ben Ayed), are very close from a young age, despite the fact Hassan and his father are servants to Amir and his distant father Baba (Emilio Doorgasingh). As the boys get older, they take part in the annual kite flying competition and once Amir wins (both the competition and his father’s adoration) Hassan, as Kite Runner, takes off to find the competitor kite as a trophy for his friend when he is cornered by bullies and attacked. Amir witnesses the attack but says nothing, living with the guilt of not helping his friend. Then, struggling to cope with the guilt, he frames Hassan for theft so that he and his father have to leave Amir’s house. Amir lives with his guilt for all his life and is given the opportunity to atone when he is given the opportunity to save Hassan’s son years later. Unfortunately, things don’t go completely according to plan however the play ends on a bittersweet note, with Amir repeating Hassan’s mantra: “For you, a thousand times over.”
As a fan of the book I wasn’t sure what to expect of the play, however I was pleasantly surprised – Ahmad and Ayed as the two boys, portrayed the profound relationship with ease. The script was true to the book, complete with heart-wrenching scenes and comedic quips.
With music provided using traditional instruments and live percussion, including a man on stage playing the tabla (similar to bongos), and two large ‘kites’ complete with projections meant we were easily transported between years and places – from Kabul in Afghanistan to bustling city-centre San Francisco.
An absolutely wonderful play, but don’t forget to have your hanky at the ready.
Taking place at Edinburgh’s city centre based King’s Theatre, the theatre is close to all transport links including rail, tram and bus. Free on-street parking is available nearby after 6.30pm if you choose to drive and there are plenty restaurants and bars nearby making for an easy enjoyable night out.
Tickets cost from £18 to £31.50 (booking fees may apply0.
The Kite Runner is at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh from 9-14 October 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.edtheatres.com or call the box office on 0131 529 6000.
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ | 0131 529 6000