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REVIEW: The Kite Runner, Grand Theatre, Blackpool

The cast of The Kite Runner, at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, this week
The cast of The Kite Runner, at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, this week
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Based on the best-selling novel by Khalid Hosseini, this story stretches over 25 years and follows narrator Amir’s journey from boy to man.

Despite tribal and social differences, young Amir and servant Hassan are as close as brothers, until that friendship and bond is irreparably broken in an act of horror - a moment soon to be reflected in the wars which come to their country Afghanistan.

Raj Ghataand Jo Ben Ayed as the boys, Amir and Hassan, in The Kite Runner

Raj Ghataand Jo Ben Ayed as the boys, Amir and Hassan, in The Kite Runner

Raj Ghatak (Amir) and Jo Ben Ayed (Hassan) transform into the childhood versions of themselves, racing through the streets of Kabul with bursts of energy, interspersed with chatter in their native farsi language - a clever trick to draw the audience’s focus, before it moves into English.

Ghatak drives the production’s story-telling, whether as today’s Americanised version of himself or in his child-like state. He pulls you along like a kite caught in a breeze.

The story’s essence remains accessible throughout Matthew Spangler’s stage adaptation; if you’ve not encountered the epic novel, that’s no issue.

The plot and its themes of division, as well as Amir’s own plight and that of those he loves are all clear.

Live tabla drumming punctuates and adds to a resonating soundtrack to give the piece a thrilling heartbeat.

Designer Barney George makes beautiful use of the kite motif in screens where projections and silhouettes add atmosphere.

This play will make you laugh and cry, with harrowing moments that make you want to reach out to your loved ones, and leave tears streaking your face.

It’s rare for plays to receive a standing ovation, but this was more than deserved.

Until Saturday. Call 01253 290190 to book.