The Kite Runner

On Saturday afternoon, I went to see the matinee of the Kite Runner which is running at the Liverpool Playhouse. This was one of the series of “cultural excursions” that Rachel and I plan for ourselves throughout the year. Usually what we see is entertaining. Sometimes it is unremarkable or even forgettable. But this time our choice was exceptional.

The play is based on the book of the same name by Khaled Hosseini. It tells the story of Amir, a well-to-do boy from Kabul, who is tormented by the guilt of abandoning his friend Hassan, the son of his father’s servant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet military intervention, the mass exodus of Afghan refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the Taliban regime.

The adaptation of the book for the stage couldn’t have been better. Despite the constraints of time, all of the key elements of the plot were there. The acting was intense and incredibly believable. Ben Turner narrated and played the leading role of Amir magnificently and held the attention of the audience throughout the 2 and a half hour performance.

During the play, my heart raced as I watched the horrors unfold. And then tears rolled as I felt the sorrow of the protagonists. At the end of the show, after a well deserved standing ovation, Rachel and I both came away feeling emotionally drained due to the roller coaster of emotions that we’d experience over the course of the afternoon. I might even go as far as to say I think it was the best play I’d ever seen.

It seems like I wasn’t the only one to think so highly of the play:

I highly recommend going along if it comes your way…. I don’t think you’ll regret it.