Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse present the European première of
THE KITE RUNNER, adapted by Matthew Spangler and based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini. Director Giles Croft, the production will run in Nottingham Friday 26 April– Saturday 11 May 2013, and in Liverpool from Thursday June 13 – Saturday July 6.
In an extraordinary theatrical coup, Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse have secured the rights to stage the European premiere of Matthew Spangler's stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's international bestseller, The Kite Runner in the Spring of 2013. With a script completed before the release of the feature film adaptation, the play was first produced by The San Jose Repertory in 2009 and is the recipient of five San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Awards.
The Kite Runner, which first hit the bookshelves in 2003, was Khaled Hosseini's first novel. It became an instant bestseller across the globe and has since been published in seventy countries. The book tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan, his father's young Hazara servant. The tale is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy, through the Soviet invasion /Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States and the rise of the Taliban regime. It charts a friendship that spans cultures and continents and follows one man's journey to confront his past and find redemption.
Nottingham Playhouse Artistic Director Giles Croft says, "I found reading The Kite Runner an immensely powerful experience, and so I was delighted to discover Matthew Spangler's honest, imaginative and theatrical adaptation of such a timeless story of hope and redemption. Among its many striking resonances, The Kite Runner tells of the immigrant experience, something that is central to the development of our own culture and is lived by many day to day in British cities like Nottingham and Liverpool. I was immediately excited by the thought of bringing the play to Europe for the first time.
"But it seems to me that it has another profound connection to Britain; as we move towards a complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan it is good, and important, to be reminded of the Afghans' own stories and histories. We have inevitably become bound up in the tragedies and politics of this most recent Afghan war and the experiences of Western troops. It is easy to forget that the Afghans are a people with a complex and rich culture, with their own story to tell, and that story won't stop, or cease to be relevant, when our troops come home.
"The Kite Runner is truly a story of our time, and bringing its vivid and haunting mix of betrayal and personal salvation to the British stage for the first time is a thrilling prospect."
Kaheld Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. In 1970 he and his family moved to Iran where his father worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran. In 1973, the family returned to Kabul, and three years later they moved to Paris. Unable return to Afghanistan because of the Saur Revolution and subsequently the Soviet invasion, in 1980 they sought political asylum in the United States and made their residence in San Jose, California. Hosseini graduated from University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine in 1993.and he practiced medicine for over ten years, until a year and a half after the release of The Kite Runner. He is currently a Goodwill Envoy for The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and works to provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan through The Khaled Hosseini Foundation. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two children.
Matthew Spangler is a playwright, director, and professor based in the San Francisco Bay Area other plays include one-person shows of James Joyce's Dubliners and Finnegans Wake; A Paradise It Seems, an adaptation of John Cheever's short stories; Mozart!, a musical theatre adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's letters; as well as stage adaptations of John Steinbeck's fiction; Ernest Hemingway's short stories; Thomas Wolfe's The Lost Boy; Clyde Edgerton's Where Trouble Sleeps; and T.C. Boyle's Tortilla Curtain (recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award).
Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playouse previous co-productions have included The Price, Oedipus, and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. The Kite Runner is part of the Nottingham Playhouse Spring Season 2013 which also includes Alan Ayckbourn's Joking Apart (in a co-production with Salisbury Playhouse) and an adaptation of Philip Pullman's I Was A Rat (in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company, Ipswich New Wolsey and Teatro Kismet).