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Our friend and photographer Graham Smillie has been back out and about with the Giants on day 2 of their trip around Liverpool to commemorate the start of the first World War. The Giants strode through Liverpool in sunshine and rain and they were greeted by thrilled crowds everywhere they went. Check out more of Graham’s […]
The Kite Runner currently showing at The Playhouse is that very rare beast; a play that conveys a whole lot more than the book it is based on.
Telling the story of Amir and his servant and boyhood chum, Hassan in Afghanistan in the 1970s, the play shows the youthful innocence of both boys horrifically corrupted on the streets of Kabul and the ramifications of a decision made by a 12-year-old boy across the years.
Ben Turner as Amir puts in an incredible performance, holding the stage throughout as he narrates and acts the part of Amir from from childhood to troubled adulthood. And this is where this play comes into its own when compared to Khaled Hosseini’s original novel. While Amir is essentially an unsympathetic character, Turner imbues him with enough humanity that you can empathise with the frightened child even while feeling frustrated and despairing at his repeated cowardice. By the end of the play you’re rooting for him to come good, despite all that’s gone before.
The Kite Runner is set against a background of civil war and the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan; it covers the Russian invasion of the country before moving to San Francisco in the 80s and back to Afghanistan. Director Giles Croft and the backstage crew do a fantastic job of bringing all these backgrounds to vivid life while the incredibly talented and hard-working cast earn their stripes taking on multiple roles to bring the tale to life, most notably Farshid Rokey as the doomed Hassan and Emilio Doorgasingh as Baba, a man you really believe once wrestled a bear.
By the time the play was over, I felt as though my heart had been wrenched from my chest and tramped on the ground. The Kite Runner is heartwrenching, but ultimately redeems itself. A must see.
On now at The Playhouse until 6 July.
I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is The Misanthrope, Roger McGough’s latest adaptation of Molière at the Playhouse, is a brilliant, brilliant play. The bad news is that it’s McGough’s last. So hurry down and see it while you can.
The Misanthrope may be set in 17th century France, but it’s very much a play about now. On the surface a comedy of manners, The Misanthrope explores some of the darker sides of humanity and what makes us all, well, human. All too human in some cases.
The Misanthrope is also enormous fun. Just as I was about to write something poncey about iambic pentameter in my notes, Alceste (Colin Tierney), the eponymous Misanthrope, wafted away the pretence of talking in verse and set the scene for a clever, funny, witty and knowing play that takes the audience right along with it.
Telling the tale of Alceste’s rejection of polite society as well as his love for the flighty Célimène (Zara Tempest-Walters), a girl who eptomises the world of courtly love that Alceste despises; The Misanthrope is ultimately a tale about what it is to be good and decent and honest. It is full of wit and charm thanks to McGough, Molière and the fantastic cast and crew that have brought the play so wonderfully to life.
An absolute must see, The Misanthrope is on at the Playhouse from now until 9th March. Get down there while you can.
For more information, check out the Everyman/Playhouse website.