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The Kite Runner - Richmond Theatre and on tour

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING two acclaimed West End seasons, when it played to over 100,000 people and received standing ovations at every performance, The Kite Runner is to tour the UK in 2020.

It will also premiere in Dubai at the 2,000-seat Dubai Opera (February 27 to February 29) .

The Kite Runner will tour to 16 cities and towns across the UK, starting at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre, where it will run from February 21 to February 22.

It will then visit Theatre Clywd, Mold (March 5 – 7), Richmond Theatre (March 10 – 14), Salisbury Playhouse (March 17 – 21), Leeds Playhouse (March 31 – April 4), Lowry, Salford (April 7 – 11), Churchill Theatre, Bromley (April 14 – 18), Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (April 21 – 25), Eastbourne Devonshire Theatre (April 28 – May 2), Plymouth Theatre Royal (May 4 – 9), Darlington Hippodrome (May 12 – 16), Cardiff New Theatre (May 19 – 23), Inverness Eden Court (May 26 – 30), Woking New Victoria Theatre (June 2 – 6), Oxford Playhouse (June 9 – 13), Southampton Nuffield Theatre (June 16 – 19), Leicester Curve Theatre (June 22 – 27) and Sheffield Lyceum (June 30 – July 4).

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international best-selling novel, this powerful story has now been adapted into a stunning stage production. A haunting tale of friendship which spans cultures and continents, it follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

Afghanistan is a divided country on the verge of war and two childhood friends are about to be torn apart. It’s a beautiful afternoon in Kabul and the skies are full of the excitement and joy of a kite flying tournament. But neither Hassan or Amir can foresee the terrible incident which will shatter their lives forever…

The Kite Runner, published in 2003, was Khaled Hosseini’s first novel. It became an instant bestseller across the globe and has since been published in 70 countries, selling 31.5 million copies in 60 languages.

Produced by Martin Dodd for UK Productions and Derek Nicol and Paul Walden for Flying Entertainment, The Kite Runner is adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler and directed by Giles Croft. Casting will be announced in due course.

It was originally produced by Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.

Giles Croft, who was artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse for 18 years and directed more than 50 productions there, rates The Kite Runner as a soaring highlight of his career. “The response is always extraordinarily powerful and we are fortunate to get standing ovations at every performance, with audiences connecting deeply and emotionally with the characters and the story.” It is, Giles strongly believes, a story with universal resonance. “It speaks to all people through the core themes of guilt, forgiveness and redemption. Those are things that we all have some connection with. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, it will speak to you.”

Matthew Spangler adds that the play covers many universal themes: A father and son relationship, friendship, love, global politics, refugees, forgiveness and redemption. “A more conventional play might just choose one of those themes, but in The Kite Runner all the themes kind of swim around each other. There’s always something new happening on stage and something new to think about.” He hopes audiences will be moved by it. “It’s a very sad but hopeful and moving story. Maybe people will leave with a greater understanding of the themes and it’s great if they do, but at the very basic level it’s a piece of storytelling and emotion.”