With sales of 31 million in 60 languages worldwide, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, an award-winning tale of friendship, betrayal and redemption is coming to the West End in what promises to be a thrilling stage production.
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel and film, is a powerful story of friendship spanning cultures and continents, following one man’s journey to find redemption.
Adapted into a stunning stage production that has already mesmerised audiences across the UK, The Kite Runner is to transfer to the West End for a strictly limited 12-week season at Wyndham’s Theatre from Wednesday 21 December to Saturday 11 March.
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.
Khaled Hosseini said:
“The Kite Runner is a story that appeals to very powerful, universal human emotions, it transcends its cultural setting, its geographic parameters, and speaks about universal human experiences – brotherhood, being a father, being a son, friendship, the desire to be a good person and be able to look at yourself in a mirror with a sense of self-respect.”
The cast is headed by Ben Turner, best known for playing Staff Nurse Jay Faldren for three years in BBC1’s Casualty. Ben Turner (Amir) led the company for the UK tour of The Kite Runner. His other stage roles include Michael Grandage’s productions of Richard II and Caligula (Donmar Warehouse), Maiden Voices from the Uprising (Royal Court), Awake and Sing (Almeida). He was King Louis in the Dr Who episode The Girl in the Fireplace, and was in the films 300: Rise of an Empire and Adulthood.
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.
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, 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.
Director Giles Croft said:
“Following its huge success in Nottingham, at the Brighton Festival and across the UK, I’m delighted that The Kite Runner is transferring to the West End. The power and relevance of this timeless story doesn’t diminish. I am looking forward to seeing the reaction of the audience to this production in London.”
Ben Turner (Amir) led the company for the UK tour of The Kite Runner. His other stage roles include Michael Grandage’s productions of Richard II and Caligula (Donmar Warehouse), Maiden Voices from the Uprising (Royal Court), Awake and Sing (Almeida). He was King Louis in the Dr Who episode The Girl in the Fireplace, and was in the films 300: Rise of an Empire and Adulthood.
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. His father was a diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and history at a high school in Kabul. In 1976, the Foreign Ministry relocated the Hosseini family to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by then their homeland had witnessed a bloody communist coup and the invasion of the Soviet Army. The Hosseinis sought and were granted political asylum in the United States, and in September 1980 moved to San Jose, California.
Hosseini graduated from high school in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1988. The following year he entered the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, where he earned a medical degree in 1993. He completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles and was a practicing internist between 1996 and 2004.
In March 2001, while practicing medicine, Hosseini began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner. Published by Bloomsbury in 2003, that debut went on to become an international bestseller and beloved classic, sold in at least 70 countries and spending more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.