The Kite Runner is an epic tale of love and betrayal, friendship and family spanning decades and crossing continents.

It follows the relationship between Amir and Hassan, two young boys growing up in Afghanistan who are from different sides of the tracks but firm friends. The narrative flits between episodes of joy to deep brutality, love stories and a dark betrayal at the core of the action.

For such a sweeping panorama to work on a traditional small stage is a testament to the script and creative production. An ensemble cast play the multitude of memorable characters surrounding Amir, played by David Ahmad and Hassan played by Jo Ben Ayed. They weave in and out of the central characters lives creating a family saga played out in the vibrant streets of Kabul and America.

Women are largely absent in the play allowing the relationships of fathers and sons, master and servant and male friendship to be explored and challenged.

Amir, a shy bookish boy has a deep love for the son of his father’s servant Hassan and the two grow up in the streets of Kabul. They play games, share a love of stories and excel at kite flying, a sport played by Afghani children involving battling handmade kites and then chasing to find the kite wherever it falls.

It is during one of these events when Amir is just 12 when a terrible event happens which traumatises and divides the boys. Amir and the audience are forced to grapple with questions about courage, guilt and loyalty.

It is a wonderful play, beautifully crafted with a glorious insight into a world few of us know. Farsi is regularly spoken through the play and a tabla drum player is on stage throughout providing the simple but powerful music. The audience at the Theatre Royal Brighton gave this vibrant and colourful work a well-deserved standing ovation.

Caroline Sutton