Three cast members from the Kite runner on stage at Malvern Theatres with kites

The Kite Runner: Review

AD: Press Tickets thanks to Malvern Theatres

Released back in 2007, The Kite Runner was the film everybody was talking about. Fast forward to now and the stage adaptation of the novel has taken Broadway and the West End by storm. The UK tour of The Kite Runner arrived at Malvern Theatres this week and we went along to see whether it lived up to its incredible reputation as a hard-hitting, thought provoking performance.

About The Kite Runner

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel, this haunting tale of friendship and betrayal spans cultures and continents and follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

Most of us are aware of The Kite Runner film from 2007. A big difference between the play and the film is that the play is cast entirely of adults. It is set in Afghanistan on the verge of war, where best friends are about to be torn apart. The story is told by Amir, who is looking back on his childhood.

On a beautiful afternoon in Kabul, the skies are full of colour and the streets are full of people having fun in a kite flying tournament. Amir and his best friend Hassan are excited to take part, with Amir flying a kite and Hassan acting as a kite runner – chasing the kites whose strings have been cut. This is the afternoon when everything changes for them both, leading to a lifetime of guilt for Amir.

Seven cast members from the Kite runner on stage at Malvern Theatres with one reading from a book and the others looking on

The Kite Runner: The Cast

  • Amir: Stuart Vincent
  • Hassan / Sohrab: Yazdan Qafouri
  • Baba: Dean Rehman
  • Soraya: Daphne Kouma
  • Assef: Bhavin Bhatt
  • Ali / Farid: Tiran Aakel
  • General Taheri: Ian Abeyesekera
  • Ramin Khan: Christopher Glover
  • Kamal: Aram Mardourian
  • Wali: Stanton Wright
  • Ensemble: Amar Aggoun, Sulin Hasso
  • Tabla Player: Hanif Khan

Our Review

If you didn’t know the story of The Kite Runner, you could be forgiven for thinking early on in the play that this was an upbeat retelling of Amir’s happy childhood. He recounts his brotherly relationship with Hassan despite their differences in culture and social status.

As the performance progresses, it takes a notably darker turn. From the day of the kite tournament, the realities of living in war-torn Afghanistan are portrayed. Full of guilt for his failure to act to save Hassan from his fate, Amir treats him poorly and Hassan and his father leave.

Displacement and genocide don’t discriminate between rich families like Amirs and other citizens, and Amir and Baba flee to America. Leaving Afghanistan isn’t the end of Amir’s heartbreak and despite a few laughs, the tone generally remains dark.

This is an extremely gripping production and you could have heard a pin drop in the audience throughout. With a strong focus on relationships between characters, you become invested early on in the bond between Amir and Hassan. Equally absorbing is Amir’s turbulent upbringing at the hands of his father.

Whilst the story focuses fully on Amir, all the characters are emotionally charged and you can’t fail to relate to them and their struggles. The Kite Runner is one of the best plays I’ve seen in a long time.

Two cast members from the Kite runner on stage at Malvern Theatres with one holding a book and the other reaching for it

The Kite Runner: FAQs

When is The Kite Runner at Malvern Theatres?

The Kite Runner will be at Malvern Theatres from 28th May to 1st June 2024

How can I get tickets for The Kite Runner at Malvern Theatres?

Tickets are available from the Malvern Theatres website.

What age is The Kite Runner suitable for?

The age guidance for The Kite Runner is 13+. It contains mature content not suitable for young audiences, including strong language, depictions of bullying, sexual violence, suicide, the use of weapons and the sound of gunshots.

How long is The Kite Runner?

The Kite Runner lasts for 2 hours and 35 minutes including an interval.

Where and when is The Kite Runner Touring?

After Malvern, The Kite Runner moves on to the following venues:
Sheffield Lyceum: 4th to 8th June
Brighton Theatre Royal: 11th to 15th June
York Theatre Royal: 18th to 22nd June
Newcastle Theatre Royal: 25th to 29th June
Cheltenham Everyman: 2nd to 6th July

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