THE KITE RUNNER to Play Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 22 Sept - 4 Oct

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THE KITE RUNNER to Play Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 22 Sept - 4 Oct

A brand new stage tour of Khaled Hosseini's worldwide bestselling novel The Kite Runner will play at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 22 September to 4 October (press night Monday 22 September, 7pm).

Adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler, The Kite Runner tells the story of the unlikely friendship between the wealthy Amir and the son of his father's servant, Hassan. Raised in the same household but split by class, Amir and Hassan are inseparable as children growing up in a divided Afghanistan on the brink of war.

One afternoon, however, everything changes at the local kite-fighting tournament. Amir is desperate to win and the loyal Hassan promises to help him - but neither can foresee what will happen to Hassan that day, in an event of unspeakable horror that will change their relationship forever.

Since it was published in 2003, The Kite Runner became an international success and has been published in 70 countries. The 2007 film adaptation was nominated for Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Awards.

In 2013 Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse pulled off an extraordinary theatrical coup and secured the rights to the stage the European premiere of The Kite Runner. The subsequent production was a theatrical tour de force and a massive hit with both the public and critics alike. The show now returns to high acclaim in a UK tour.

The cast sees Ben Turner reprise his role as Amir, who is most well known for his television roles as Jay Faldron in Casualty (BBC) and in Doctor Who (BBC) as well as on stage in Michael Grandage's production of Richard II at the Donmar Warehouse.

He will be joined by Andrei Costin as Hassan, who returns to Birmingham having trained at Birmingham School of Acting. His previous theatre credits include roles in Histra (The Platform Theatre) and She Liked Pretty Things (The Lost Theatre).

Director Giles Croft says of the stage adaptation:

"The power and relevance of The Kite Runner doesn't diminish and I have no doubt that this will prove to be a timeless story. I found reading it an immensely powerful experience, and so I was delighted to discover Matthew Spangler's honest, imaginative and theatrical adaptation of such an enduring tale of hope and redemption."

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 practiced medicine for over ten years, until a year and a half after the release of The Kite Runner. He has since written two more highly acclaimed books, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed. 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.

Matthew Spangler is a playwright, director, and professor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His 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).

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