Martin Dodd for UK Productions and Derek Nicol & Paul Walden for Flying Entertainment proudly present the Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse production of
“There is a way to be good again”
“Thought-Provoking, Poignant and Heartbreaking”Read more
“A poignant and touching West End play”Read more
“This is theatre at its solid best”Read more
“Costin and Turner lead the company in raw, honest and unspeakably beautiful work”Read more
“A fantastic way to start the new theatrical year”Read more
“Wonderfully poetic”Read more
“Matthew Spangler’s adaptation held the crowd spellbound”Read more
“A brilliant piece of work”Read more
“Aa Afghan epic to remember”Read more
“An extraordinary performance”Read more
“Exquisitely written and directed”Read more
“I urge everyone to see The Kite Runner”Read more
“Impeccably acted”Read more
“A must see this season”Read more
“You ABSOLUTELY MUST see The Kite Runner!”Read more
David Ahmad / Amir
Theatre credits include: Amir in The Kite Runner (Playhouse Theatre, West End); Miles Hendon in The Prince and The Pauper and Jago in Jago’s Box (New Vic, Staffordshire); Dr. Watson in The Game’s Afoot (Les Enfants Terribles & EBP); Lord Capulet/Friar Laurence in Romeo & Juliet (Orange Tree); Antilla in The Man Without A Past (New Perspectives); Perseus in Eyecatcher (Sheffield Crucible); David in Potted Potter (Little Shubert Theater, New York/Melbourne International Comedy Festival) and Potted Pirates (Pleasance, Edinburgh); Thomas in Ernest & The Pale Moon (Les Enfants Terribles); Davis in Sleeping Beauty (Colchester Mercury); Mr. Shu Fu in The Good Soul of Szechuan and Klaus Heinrich in Fear & Misery in The Third Reich (Watford Palace); Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (TNT/ADGE); Charlie in Ideomotor (London Horror and Vaults Festivals); George in George’s Marvellous Medicine and Peter in Tom’s Midnight Garden (Birmingham Stage Company); Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet (Akademie der Kunst, Berlin)
Screen credits include: Kat and The Band (Boudica Films); Doctors (BBC); Apple Tree Yard (Kudos) and The Frank Skinner Show (Avalon).Read more Read less
Dean Rehman / Baba
Dean has worked extensively in the UK and America and he studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory in New York. Recent Theatre includes: National Theatre Wales, Bristol Old Vic, Sherman Cymru, Wildworks, Coventry Belgrade, Trifle Gathering, Difficult Stage and Give it a Name.
Recent Film includes: Ambition and The toll
Recent Television: Anita series 1&2 for S4C.
None of the above would have been possible without much love and support.
In Memory of Sally Merchant.
Christopher Glover / Rahim Khan
Christopher has performed extensively in the UK, Ireland and Australia, and he was an original member of Irish theatre company, Tinderbox. His recent theatre includes Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four (Blackeyed Theatre. UK, Netherlands & China Tour), Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland (16feet), Peckham The Soap Opera (Royal Court), Who Cares (Royal Court), and 5 Steps (Royal Court Tottenham). In 2017 he was longlisted for The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.
His ﬁlm/TV credits include Eastenders (BBC), Touching Evil (ITV), Rules of Engagement (ITV), Dennis Potter’s Karaoke (BBC/Channel 4), The Bill (ITV), Underworld (Hat Trick/Channel 4), Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures/Channel 4) and Casualty (BBC). He was in the 2014 ﬁlm Heard and 2018 War On Drugs (Talos Films) as Mexican Drug Lord “El Chapo”. In Australia, his theatre credits include Constance Drinkwater (Darwin Festival/Tour), 7 Deadly Australian Sins and Gods of Spicy Things (Australian Tours).
He also played three characters simultaneously in Scott Witt’s comedy Macbeth. As Associate Director of Jute Theatre Australia, he directed the original productions of Cake (Tropic Sun/JUTE Tour), The Shining Path (Queensland Tour) and Dancing Back Home (Mudlark Tasmania), while his play The Mad Mile was nominated for several awards.Read more Read less
Lisa Zahra / Soraya
Lisa trained at the RWCMD.
Her most recent credits include Lady Macduff , Macbeth , National Theatre & The Kite Runner , West End.
Bethan , Mission Control , National Theatre Wales .
She, Out of the Dark , Rose Theatre, Kingston.
Fariba, A Thousand Splendid Suns , Birmingham Rep ,Northern Stage.
Lady Macduff , Macbeth , National Theatre.
Paulina , Death and the Maiden , The Other Room.
Soraya , The Kite Runner, Wyndhams Theatre/Playhouse Theatre West End.
Fatimah, Before I Leave , National Theatre Wales.
Huseini ,Umrao Jan , Cockpit Theatre/ Edingburgh festival.
Lavinia, Resurrection, Theatre Royal Bath.
Hermia, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Torch Theatre & Uk Tour.
Juliet, Romeo and Juliet , Royal Court , Cunard.
Titania, A Midsummer Nights Dream, WMC
Eli, The Voyage, Clwyd Theatr Cymru
Imogen, Cymbeline WTC- (winner of the best newcomer award)
Jessica , Merchant of Venice , WTC
TV/Film & Radio includes :
Bateaux Embroidering The Truth , BBC 4
Home Fire, BBC 4
We are displaced, BBC 4
Nobody Girl (Tornado Studios)
Twelfth Night (ISC Films)
50 ways to kill your lover (Sky)
Fairuz (Dubai Film
Skellig (Sky movies)
Dr. Who (BBC)
Myths of Ancient Greece (Ch 5)
The Persistence (firesprite)
Torchwood, (Fall to Earth)
Stuart Vincent / Kamal/Zaman
Stuart graduated from Arts Ed London School of Acting.
Theatre credits include; ROMEO AND JULIET (Orange Tree Theatre); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM; MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN; MACBETH (Butterfly Theatre Company); PLAY ON! SHAKEPEARE (Butterfly Theatre/ London Symphony Orchestra); DANCE CLASS (Vienna English Theatre) and UNDERCOVER (Stack 10 Theatre).
Short film credits includes; GOOD LUCK (CineCore Motion Pictures); DANCING WITH THE DEVIL; BODY SHOP (Palikuku Films); WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN (Stack 10) and HERO (Silver Koi)
Tiran Aakel / Ali/Farid
TIRAN AAKEL trained at East 15 Acting School, London. Theatre credits include: Three Sisters (MK Gallery); Blueprint Medea (Finborough Theatre)
The Jungle (dir: Stephen Daldry – Young Vic Production – Playhouse Theatre); Burkas and Bacon Butties (The Vaults); Time’s Up! (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre);
I was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky (UK Tour). Television credits include: EastEnders (BBC), Casualty (BBC), The Bill (ITV). Film credits include: Pretty Music for Very Ugly People, Regret Button. Radio credits include: Sherlock Holmes – His Last Bow – The Bruce-Partington Plans (BBC R4). Voice-Over credits include The Museum, A Form of Colonisation (both Tamasha Theatre Company), Timewatch – In Pursuit of Happiness (BBC)
Bhavin Bhatt / Assef
Bhavin Bhatt started his acting career at a young age when he was scouted during a production of Bugsy Malone, where he played the character of Dandy Dan. Since then, he has gone on to feature in advertisements and cameo roles as a child actor in series such as Spooks and Murder in Suburbia.
Whilst studying drama at university, Bhavin took an interest in Bollywood dance with an academy called Desi Masti in Leicester, which ultimately led to him working with the top Bollywood company in the UK called Bolly Flex, led by Naz Choudhury and Leena Patel.
He performed in Dhamaka (2012); Bollywood Showstoppers (2013) and Bollywood Showstoppers (2014) at the O2 Arena in London with A-list Bollywood actors, such as Shahid Kapoor and Bipasha Basu.
This year, Bhavin has worked under the direction of Suba Das at Curve Theatre, Leicester, for the production of Pereira’s Bakery at 76 Chapel Road, where he played the character of Shailesh.
At present, Bhavin works as a professional dancer and actor, and is extremely excited to work on this production of The Kite Runner.Read more Read less
Ian Abeysekera / General Taheri
Ian trained at LAMDA
Theatre includes: Twelfth Night (RSC), All for Love (BAC), Pygmalion (Theatre Clywd), Enemy of The People (UK Tour) Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Chichester Festival Theatre).
Film includes: Deadly Advice and Alive and Kicking
TV includes: The Bill, The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, Brighton Belles, Crimewatch, Days that Shook the World and Switch
Ian has also performed in Audio plays of The Arabian Nights (Volumes 1 & 2) and the Three Musketeers for Audible and as characters from the Dr Who universe for Big Finish Productions
HANIF KHAN / Tabla Player
UK based and Mumbai native, Hanif Khan is an ideal position to share classical Indian forms of music as well create new forms of music by lending his talent to the genre of ‘fusion’.
He is the son of the renowned tabla player Ustad Hidayat Khan. He is sought-after percussionist and performs with both Indian and European musicians. His career had taken an international route and has performed in Europe ,the Middle East and North America.
An accomplished classical trained Indian percussionist, he is a versatile performer and has accomplished acclaimed artists such as Hari Parshad Chaurasia, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Pandit Arvind Parikh, Ustad Nishat Khan, Ghulam Ali, Rona Majumdar, Ghulam Mustafa, El Massry Hussein and Rajan and Sajan Mishra among others.
In London, Khan has performed at the Royal Albert Hall Elgar Rooms, Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Opera House, The School of Oriental and African Studies, The Nehru Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Glastonbury, Womad , Abbey Studio ,Birmingham Symphony Hall and Birmingham Repertory Theatre and many other international festivals.
Has worked with some of the leading Asian Music Circuit, Milapfest, Sama Arts and Sampad.
Hanif Khan was rewarded by the National Music Conservatory of the Noor Al -Hussein Foundation and the International Music Centre for his contribution to the international meeting on the promotion of the local music heritage in the age of globalisation
Adam Samuel-Bal / Wali/Doctor
Theatre: Humbug (Albany); Game of Love and Chai (Tara Arts/UK Tour); Ishq
(Sadler’s Wells); Bollywood Jack (Tara Arts); Bring on the Bollywood (Belgrade
Theatre); Aladdin (Oxford Playhouse); Wreck (Nottingham Playhouse); Blood
(Tamasha 25. UK tour); Half 'n' Half (National Theatre of Wales)
Workshops: Dr Faustess: A new musical (The Cockpit); #Bros (Royal Court/Soho
Theatre); Benny and the Greycats (Sheffield Crucible/Barbican); Feelin' in the
Mood (Chet Walker)
Rehearsed Readings: Chimps (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Pine (Hampstead
Film: The Flood (2018)Read more Read less
Andrei Costin / Hassan/Sohrab
Andrei was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania.
Training: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Theatre includes: Carnival Stories, The Dream (Masca Theatre, Bucharest), The Kite Runner (West End/UK Tour), The Lost Boy (Theatre in the Quarter, Chester), Green Leaves Fall (Strictly Arts/Belgrade Theatre), Inkheart (HOME Mcr), Haram Iran (Above the Stag Theatre), I’m Not Jesus Christ (Theatre N16), Whose Life Is It Anyway? (Frinton Summer Theatre), Handkerchief of Clouds and The Gas Heart (Immersive Theatre/Romanian Cultural Institute)
Film and television include: Doctors, Memento Amare, Acceptable Damage, Bleachy Doomsday
Andrei is delighted to be reprising his roles in The Kite Runner.Read more Read less
Stanton Wright / Ensemble/Cover/Merchant
Stanton trained at Mountview Academy Of Theatre Arts. Credits include:
Dorian, PICTURES OF DORIAN GRAY (Jermyn St Theatre); Florizel, THE WINTER’S TALE (National Theatre); John, THE LION IN WINTER (English Theatre Frankfurt); Ronnie Lane, ALL OR NOTHING (West End and on tour); Ralph, LORD OF THE FLIES (Courtyardi Theatre, Hereford); Troubadour, TAKE ME HERE BY THE DISHWASHER (Barbican, Ragnar Kjartansson); Actor/Puppeteer, THIS MOOSE BELONGS TO ME (Unicorn Theatre/Brunskill & Grimes); Actor/Puppeteer, JACKIE THE BABOON (Orange Tree Theatre/Brunskill & Grimes); Florence, FLORENCE LOVES YOU (Theatre 503); ensemble, RENAISSANCE BODY (RSC/British Museum).
WHITE GIRL (Short); OUT OF THE BOX (Short); RUM (Short)
Rhîan McLean / Ensemble/Cover/Resident Director/Pomegranate Lady
Rhîan trained at the Birmingham School of Acting.
Theatre Credits include: Tabby McTat (UK Tour, Freckle Productions), Faulty Towers (ITI: Adelaide Fringe Festival & Sydney Opera House); Spring Reign (Lowry Studio & National Tour); Taming of The Shrew (TNT Theatre Company, China & Europe); Comedy of Errors (Worcester Rep & International Shakespeare Festival, Romania); Suitable for Shop Work (Swan Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Worcester Rep); Rosie’s Magic Horse (Southwark Playhouse & National Tour); C’Tait La Nuit (Greenhouse Theatre Project UK/Edinburgh Fringe); Don Bosco (Rise Theatre, National Tour); Three Sisters (Greenhouse Theatre Project, Missouri USA); Alice in Wonderland (Heartbreak Productions, Open Air National Tour); Don Juan; after the war (Greenhouse Theatre Project, Missouri USA); The Interview: Story of the Holocaust (Bradford Playhouse); Word on The Street & Christmas Presence (Gate Theatre & National Tour); Poisoned Pool (Royal Albert Hall); Salaam Bethlehem, Monsieur De Coubertain’s Olympic Feat and A Different Drum (Riding Lights Theatre, National Tour).
Further information visit: www.keddiescott.comRead more Read less
In 1985 Giles was appointed as artistic director of the Gate Theatre, London. In 1989 Giles joined the National Theatre as Literary Manager before becoming Artistic Director of the Palace Theatre, Watford in May 1995. Giles has been the Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse since 1999. His most recent productions include: Sleuth, The Glass Menagerie, Any Means Necessary, Tony’s Last Tape, Forever Young, Arcadia, The Second Minute, Charlie Peace: His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend and Of Mice and Men.
Giles is also a playwright and his work has been produced widely in the UK and Europe. He has a new play opening in Glasgow in the spring of 2017.Read more Read less
Damian trained at Oxford University (BA, English Literature & Language) and Arts Educational (MA, Creative Practice in Musical Theatre). Damian was the Resident Director for The Kite Runner for over a year, looking after three cast changes during its run at the Playhouse Theatre, London and its previous UK & Ireland Tour. He is currently Resident Director on the UK and International tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, starring Joe McFadden.
His directing credits include: When Midnight Strikes (nominated, Best Musical Production, Off West End Awards); Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast at Blackpool Grand (nominated, Best Director at the Great British Pantomime Awards 2018); the London revival of Tick, Tick…Boom! (Union Theatre), West Side Story (Theatre Royal Windsor for Bill Kenwright); You Know How To Love Me (The Other Palace); the world premiere of Equally (Cockpit Theatre); Aladdin (Malvern Theatre); Soho Cinders (Stanwix Theatre); Dick Whittington (Beck Theatre; Winner, Best Pantomime, 2014); Sister Act, Betty Blue Eyes and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Putney Arts Theatre); six seasons of NewsRevue (Canal Café Theatre); ten years of sell-out seasons of the EdFringe institution, Shakespeare For Breakfast (Winner, Best Comedy, 2017) and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (both Edinburgh Festival and subsequent London transfers); the world premiere of The Poltergeist of Cock Lane; Dickens For Dinner (Winner – Best Comedy, 2018); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Celebrations); Hairspray and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (London Oratory); Sleeping Beauty (Anvil Arts); Twelve Angry Men; A Kind Of Loving. Over a period of sixteen years, he has directed and produced 55 productions at the Edinburgh Festival.
Assistant/Resident credits include: Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s Calendar Girls – The Musical (UK & Ireland National Tour); the national tour of Oklahoma! (UK Productions); Associate / Resident on the UK premiere of Little Women the Musical (LOST Theatre); Me And My Girl (London Palladium); Legally Blonde (Aberystwyth Arts Centre); Kiss Of The Spider Woman (ArtsEd with Nikolai Foster & Drew McOnie); Mathilde (Comedy Theatre, London).
Damian has also worked with the directors on the world premiere of The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane for Cameron Mackintosh) and Honk! (The Royal National Theatre’s tour). He has been Associate Director on the annual Whatsonstage Awards Concert for the last twelve years.
Twitter: @munchkindamoRead more Read less
Matthew’s adaptation of The Kite Runner earned five San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards, including awards for Best Original Script and Overall Production. His other plays include: Operation Ajax about the CIA/MI6 coup in Iran in 1953; Albatross, based on ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, produced off-Broadway and recipient of two Elliot Norton Awards; The Forgotten Empress; The Story of Zahra, based on the novel by Hanan al-Shaykh; Tortilla Curtain, based on the novel by T C Boyle; A Paradise It Seems, based on John Cheever’s short stories; Together Tea, based on the novel by Marjan Kamali; as well as adaptations of James Joyce’s and John Steinbeck’s fiction. His plays have been produced by theatres around the world including: Wyndham’s Theatre and the London Playhouse on the West End, 59E59 Theatre in New York, the Avignon Theatre Festival, Palestinian National Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Liverpool Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, Theatre Calgary, Cleveland Play House, Actors Theatre of Louisville, San José Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Poets’ Theatre, New Repertory Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and theatres in Ireland, Germany, Pakistan, and India, among others. His book Staging Intercultural Ireland is a collection of plays and interviews with theatre artists working at the intersection of immigration and interculturalism in Ireland. Matthew is Professor of Performance Studies at San José State University in California. He is also director of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on literature and immigration. www.matthewspangler.orgRead more Read less
Barney began his career as a model maker and set dresser in film and television and has credits that include Star Wars, The Mummy, The Da Vinci Code and Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. More recently, Barney has worked on Game of Thrones, a new film version of Roald Dahl’s The Witches directed by Robert Zemeckis, and created new interactive installations for the company Leaps and Strides.
Barney began designing for theatre in 2002 and his current and most recent credits include The Canterville Ghost (Tall Stories), Cinderella – The Rockin’ Panto (Arts Depot/London), Sense and Sensibility (Theatre by the Lake and Theatre Royal York), Mother Courage with Josie Lawrence directed by Hannah Chiswick (Southwark Playhouse), The Kite Runner (Nottingham Playhouse/West End/UK Tour), Little Baby Bum (world premiere of the live stage show with co-designer Timothy Bird), Great Expectations (Derby Playhouse), Red Riding Hood (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich) and Wilde Creatures (Tall Stories as part of the Dominic Dromgoole and Nica Burns’ Oscar Wilde season/Vaudeville Theatre, West End and Australia).
Barney’s other theatre work includes Sleuth, Charlie Peace; His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend and Diary of a Football Nobody (Nottingham Playhouse, three Rock ‘n’ Roll pantomimes for director/writer Peter Rowe at the New Wolsey – Sinbad, Beauty and the Beast and The Sword in the Stone – Talking Heads, The Worm Collector, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Count of Monte Cristo, Mela and Full of Noises (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Life and Times of Mitchell and Kenyon – nomination for Manchester Theatre Awards Best Design Award – and The Hobbit – UK Theatre Award Winner of Best Show for Children and Young People (The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster), Solace of the Road, The Odyssey and Kes (Derby), Blue/Orange, See How They Run and Whatever Next! (Theatre Royal, York),The Mist in the Mirror adapted from the novel by Susan Hill (Oldham Coliseum), The Frozen Scream directed by Olivier award winning writer and performer Christopher Green and co-written by the novelist Sarah Waters (Wales Millenium Centre and Birmingham Hippodrome), Tiny Heroes (Daniel Bye and Sarah Punshon), Beep (Northern Bullits), The Enough Project (Dep Arts), Emergency Story Penguin, They Only Come at Night: Resurrection and Mapping the City (Slung Low), Thrive (Zest Theatre), Broken Time (Three Stones Media), Stig of the Dump and Treasure Island (Mind the Gap), The Woods (Jane Packman Company), Flit (Edinburgh International Festival), Remote (Camden People’s Theatre), Body Faded Blue (National Theatre of Cyprus) and Hanuman the Superhero Monkey (Singapore Repertory Theatre).Read more Read less
Recent credits include: The Seven Acts of Mercy, The Alchemist, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Play for the Nation, Queen Anne (RSC), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (NT), The Suppliant Women (ATC/Edinburgh Lyceum), Torn (Royal Court), Hydrargyrum (Rambert Dance) and I Call My Brothers (Gate).
Other theatre includes: Richard III, Mojo, Posh, Through the Leaves (West End), The River (Broadway), Hecuba, The Christmas Truce, I’ll Be the Devil (RSC), Minetti (Edinburgh International Festival), The Events (ATC/Young Vic/New York), The River, Choir Boy, Chicken Soup With Barley, Now or Later, The Ugly One (Royal Court), Ah Wilderness, Dirty Butterfly, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Girlfriend Experience (Young Vic), The Accrington Pals, Orlando, To Kill a Mockingbird (Manchester Royal Exchange), Oh, What a Lovely War!, Look Back in Anger, The Borrowers (Northern Stage), Flint Street Nativity, The Tempest (Liverpool Playhouse), The Duchess of Malfi, Hedda Gabler (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Angels in America (Headlong). Dance includes: 35 works for Richard Alston Dance Company (Sadler’s Wells and worldwide), Red Balloon, Magical Night (Aletta Collins/ROH2), Bloom, Labyrinth of Love (Rambert), Eden/Eden (Wayne McGregor/Stuttgart and San Francisco Ballets), Run for It (Scottish Ballet/Cultural Olympiad) and Four Seasons (Oliver Hindle/Birmingham Royal Ballet).
Music includes: La Bianca Notte (Hamburg Opera), OperaShots, La Voix Humaine (Royal Opera House), Carmen, Werther and Saul (Opera North). Charles won the 2013 Knight of Illumination Award (Drama) for The River, the 2013 TMA UK Theatre Best Design Award for The Accrington Pals and the BroadwayWorld.com Best Lighting Award 2014 for Richard III.Read more Read less
William Simpson is a filmmaker and video designer whose work appears on the stage, screen and in exhibition.
His video design, projection credits and work has appeared in shows such as Rocky Das Musical (Stuttgart, Stage Entertainment), Darkness Darkness (Nottingham Playhouse), Derren Brown – Miracle (UK tour), Theatre of Illumination (Light Night, Leeds), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (compositing and aerial filming) (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Rapunzel Rock ‘n Roll Panto (Liverpool Everyman), Freefall (Unit 23), Kes (Cast, Doncaster), Guantanamo Boy (Brolly/ Half Moon Theatre), Richard III and Charlie Peace (Nottingham Playhouse), Up and Down (GaGa Theatre), Treasure Island (Mind the Gap), The Noise (Unlimited Theatre), Kes (Derby Theatre), the original and European stage premiere of The Kite Runner (Nottingham Playhouse and UK tour), Diary of a Football Nobody (Nottingham Playhouse), the award-winning adaptation of Of Mice and Men by Mike Kenny (Mind the Gap), Clockwork (NT), Ragtime (LAOS), Mapping the City (Slunglow), The Mamba (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Piano Circus – Trilogies (Kings Place).
Directing and film work includes: the award winning Soldiering On, Jump the Fire – Melt Yourself Down, Anish Kapoor Flashback, Born Survivor, It’s Not Over Yet – Middleman, Talking Transformations, Instructions for Films and Lear Settings.Read more Read less
Composer & Musical Director
Theatre credits include: The Jew of Malta, Anya, The American Pilot and White Out (all Royal Shakespeare Company), Sleuth, The Kite Runner, Charlie Peace and Families of Lockerbie (Nottingham Playhouse), Margaret Catchpole (Eastern Angles), Three Wheels (Birmingham REP/ ACE), Flight of Hope (People Show), Dreaming (BSA) and Nine Lives (Leeds Studio).
Jonathan won a Royal Television Society Award with Losing It (Channel 4), with other commissions including Gogmagog (English National Opera), Lights Out (New York Arts), Grimm Tales (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Radio 3), Flight to the Ford (CBSO), It’s Not a Game and The Long Lost Son (Evelyn Glennie), Black Heart and A Little Madness (BBC Singers), and O Rex Gentium (Ex Cathedra), winning national awards with The Ice Palace. His music is broadcast and played worldwide through Audio Network. Jonathan has achieved a first class honours in music (BA), and was awarded a doctorate in musical composition in 2006. He’s lectured and taught all over the world, and worked with groups such as the CBSO, ENO, Brodsky Quartet, Ensemble Bash and Kokuma African Dance Company in learning and participation projects throughout the UK. Jonathan is delighted to be bringing The Kite Giles Croft for a sixth time. Other current projects include Macbeth (director: Justin Audibert) at the National Theatre, reworking Anya (RSC) for puppet-theatre, and working with choreographers Anita Gonzalez and Joel Valentín-Martínez on Living Lakes in the United States. www.jonathangirling.co.ukRead more Read less
Drew trained at BristolE Old Vic Theatre School and was subsequently part of the Lighting and Sound Department at Nottingham Playhouse where he started designing for in-house productions. In 2014 he left to become a freelance sound designer.
Drew has designed extensively with Nottingham Playhouse on shows including: Time and the Conways, Of Mice and Men, Richard III, My Judy Garland Life, The Importance of Being Earnest, Forever Young and Grandpa in My Pocket:Teamwork. Also, The Threepenny Opera in collaboration with Graeae Theatre Company. Other sound designs include: Sweet Charity and Trevor Nunn’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich), Workshop Negative (Gate Theatre), Mary Shelley (Shared Experience), Sleeping Beauty (Cast, Doncaster), The Dissidents (Tricycle), The Crossing (Tangle), Darkness Darkness, Unforgettable (New Perspectives), Jack and the Beanstalk (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), The Wiz, Seance on a Sunday Afternoon, Empty Bed Blues, Smile (Lakeside Arts) and the 2015 UK tour of Miss Nightingale the Musical.Read more Read less
Kitty is a movement director, choreographer and director, she trained at Laban and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Recent movement credits include: The Wolf, The Duck and The Mouse (New Perspectives/Unicorn Theatre), Pinocchio (Nottingham Playhouse), The Fishermen (New Perspectives at The Trafalgar Studios), Queer Lady M (1623/Attenborough Arts), If All The World Were Paper (Big Window/Lakeside Arts Centre), Journeys of Destiny (Ava Hunt Theatre/Derby Theatre), Hansel and Gretel, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, A Christmas Carol and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Derby Theatre), Harvest (New Perspectives) Crossings (Pentabus/New Perspectives) Wolves are Coming for You, As the Crow Flies and Here I Belong (Pentabus), Blood (Tamasha/ Belgrade Theatre Coventry), Rapunzel, Jack and Tom’s Midnight Garden (Nottingham Playhouse), The Dog House, Puss in Boots and Women on the Verge of HRT (Derby LIVE), Dick Turpin’s Last Ride (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds) Roots (Mercury Theatre Colchester) Gandhi and Coconuts (Kali at The Arcola) Tiny Treasures and The Night Pirates (Theatre Hullabaloo).
Recent directing credits include: Mark and the Marked, Feet First and Car Story (Box Clever Theatre) Whose Shoes? (Nottingham Playhouse) Spinning Yarns (Theatre Hullabaloo) and Awaking Durga (Kali Theatre/ Soho Theatre). For her own company, WinterWalker, Kitty has recently directed FIVE (The Hullabaloo/Derby Theatre/TakeOff Festival), The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Watermans/Déda/Lincoln Drill Hall) and Three Keepers (UK tour).
Follow Kitty @KitWinterWalker
Philip is on the Equity Register of Fight Directors, and the examining staff of the BASSC. He teaches for RADA.
Recent theatre includes: Ariodante (Teatro Campoamor), Julius Caesar, I’ll Be the Devil (RSC), Der Rosenkavalier, LaScala Di Seta, Cosi Fan Tutte (JPYAP), Veneziana, L’Isola Disabitata, Der Rosenkavalier (ROH), L’Isola Disabitata (ROH international tour), Simon Boccanegra, La Traviata (re-cast), Faust, Ariodante (ENO), L’Olimpiade (Garsington Opera), Andrea Chenier, Stiffelio (Holland Park Opera), Mahabharata, Carrie’s War (Sadler’s Wells), Dedication, Noises Off (Nuffield, Southampton), Dial M for Murder (UK tour), King Lear (Northern Broadsides), Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (Theatre Clwyd), Noises Off (Royal Court, Liverpool), The Ladykillers (Hull Truck), The Mysteries, God of Soho, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, A New World, Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe), Sleuth, Noises Off, The Duchess of Malfi, A Skull in Connemara, Time and the Conways, Aladdin, The Kite Runner, Robin Hood and the Babes (Nottingham Playhouse), Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Dial M for Murder, A View From the Bridge, The Grapes of Wrath, King David, Man of Blood, Tango, Romeo and Juliet, Lonesome West, IPH, Journey’s End, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Aladdin (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), Gaslight, Kiss Me Quickstep, Robin Hood and Marian, The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Rivals, Hamlet, Bleak House, Humble Boy (New Vic, Stoke), As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Stig of the Dump, Macbeth, Othello, Cyrano de Bergerac, Romeo and Juliet, The Wind in the Willows, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Merlin and the Woods of Time, Masters Are You Mad? (Storyhouse Chester), Swimming With Sharks (Vaudeville), Macbeth (Hampton Court Palace), Gaslight, To Sir With Love, The Talented Mr Ripley, Humble Boy (Royal Theatre, Northampton), The Djinns of Eidgah, Piano/Forte, Sugar Mummies (Royal Court), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Theatre Royal Haymarket), King Lear, Breakfast With Mugabe (Theatre Royal, Bath), Corrie! (international tour), Carrie’s War (Apollo), Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), Death and the Maiden, Arsenic and Old Lace, What the Butler Saw, People at Sea, The Herbal Bed, Robin Hood, Shadowlands, Sleeping Beauty, Playing for Time, To Kill a Mockingbird, Cinderella, Jamaica Inn, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin, The Hired Man (Salisbury Playhouse), Oleanna, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Lord of the Flies, Looking for JJ, Hobson’s Choice (York Theatre Royal), Treasure Island, As You Like It, The Wind in the Willows, Macbeth, Henry V, Antony and Cleopatra, Dr Faustus, Rapunzel, Twelfth Night, Robin Hood, Macbeth, The Snow Queen, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors (Creation Theatre), Dial M for Murder (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Robin Hood (The Theatre, Chipping Norton), The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, Canterbury Tales, Twelfth Night, Henry V, As You Like It, Macbeth, Richard III, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, As You Like It (Guildford Shakespeare Co), Peter Pan, Cinderella (SECC, Glasgow and Venue Cymru), Jack and the Beanstalk (Theatre Royal, Plymouth), Bad Jazz (Drum Theatre, Plymouth), Aladdin (King’s Theatre, Edinburgh), Dial M for Murder, Suddenly At Home, Macbeth, Deadly Murder, Romy & Julian, Deadly Nightcap (Vienna’s English Theatre), The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, The Conquering Hero, The Conspirators, The Making of Moo, The Company Man, Nan, The Tinker’s Wedding, Adam Bede (Orange Tree Theatre), Dracula (Open Book Theatre), Honest (Theatre 6), Stone Cold Murder (Vienna’s English Theatre and Mill at Sonning Theatre), Peter Pan (High Wycombe Swan), Jack & the Beanstalk (Swansea Grand Theatre), Robin Hood, Merlin (The Dukes, Lancaster), Dick Whittington, Peter Pan (Orchard Theatre, Dartford), Corrie! (international tour), Jack & the Beanstalk (Lyceum Theatre, Crewe), Carthage (Finborough), Peter Pan (Cliff’s Pavilion, Southend), Hamlet (USA tour), Peter Pan (Buxton Opera House), Soul Man (Steven Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Cool Hand Luke (Aldwych), Aladdin (New Theatre, Hull), Twelfth Night (cruise ship tour), Misery (Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon), Smash (Menier Chocolate Factory), Snake in the Grass (The Print Room) and Corrie! (UK tour).
Film includes: King Arthur, Pan, The Knife That Killed Me and Dark Signal.Read more Read less
THE MUSIC OF THE KITE RUNNER
The famous French composer, Claude Debussy, said that “Music is the silence between the notes”. This article is a small insight into how a slightly less famous English composer has interweaved ‘the silence between the notes’ into the fabric of The Kite Runner since we first started rehearsing it four and a half years ago.
Putting on a play always involves collaboration. The most important person is the director, who puts the team together, makes all the final decisions, and is the driving force behind the production. The rest of the creative team is made up of the writer, the set-designer, lighting designer, composer, movement director, sound designer, fight director and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There’s a huge team of people that have made The Kite Runner happen.
As the composer, the script and director are always my primary points of reference when thinking about the music. What does the script say to me (what sounds, tunes, emotions, textures or colours does it make me imagine?), and then what does the director want to do with the play? Once I’ve spent some time with the director and script, I’ll start working on ideas, listing key scenes and moments in the drama. These initial ideas – normally written notes on traditional manuscript, or an instrument or two – are then introduced into the rehearsal room, and that’s where the real magic starts to happen.
With our first version of this show, for example, we had a great singer and his voice inspired me to think about writing songs to underpin some key emotional scenes. After I’d written the songs, and taught him the music (being musical director as well as composer), we rehearsed them into each scene to see how they worked – this is when the director gives his definitive opinion: always a nervous moment! And finally, if the music makes it past the director’s cut, do they work when finally showing the production to an audience? Even here, I can be asked to alter or move the song or music cue – and occasionally cues can still be lost for ever!
The next most important person for me in The Kite Runner is the near-omnipresent tabla player. The tabla – Indian drums you’ll see at the front of the stage – are mentioned in the script, but the use of tabla music presented me with my biggest challenge. I hadn’t researched Indian music since I was at University, so I enlisted the help of the Asian Music Network (Viram Jasani) and Emeritus Professor of Afghan Music & Ethonomusicology at Goldsmiths, John Baily. Viram helped me find a tabla player – Hanif Kahn – and John took me through the (very subtle!) differences between Afghan, Indian and Pakistan classical music.
With their initial help & oversight, Hanif and I started on a five-week exploration of collaborative creativity that produced all of the tabla music in The Kite Runner. Hanif couldn’t read western notation, and I couldn’t understand how on earth he played such complex rhythms, so we initially just had to find a way of communicating (mostly in gestures, sounds and taps!). In the end, some of the rhythms are original Girling – as in Assef’s first appearance – and others are me honing & shaping traditional Indian rhythms into music cues useful for the drama, perfectly executed by Hanif on the stage.
Hanif went through every Indian classical rhythm (thal, taals or talas) he knew, teaching me their names, number of beats in each cycle, their tempi, and we went from there. It became slowly clear to me where to use certain taals and we started experimenting with variations, counter-rhythms and sub-divisions of the beat.
However, a classical tabla player shouldn’t break the taal once they’ve set the cycle in motion – but stopping or changing a cycle on a specific word or action is essential when writing music for plays. Let me give you a brief example: straight after Assef is driven off the stage with his henchmen in Act One (Kamal: “A big mistake!”), Hanif starts playing Jhapthal medium taal under the first description of the Kite Fighting Tournament. The taal changes on Amir saying “the real fun began when the kite was cut” to Jhapathal fast. I make the tabla pause just before Amir says “but Hassan was by far the greatest kite runner I’d ever seen” – a crucial line – before Hanif plays Jhapthal fast again, imitating the runners chasing the fallen kite across the stage.
As we introduced more and more tabla music into the show, things started to take shape. But the one thing I never interfered with Hanif’s pre-show performance – that still is entirely down to the amazing virtuosity of master-musician Hanif Khan!
Being a classically-trained (Western) composer, I love live music in any form. So, alongside the tabla, I introduced a variety of hand-held percussion instruments into the show. Tibetan Singing Bowls produce long, single-tones with a rich variety of overtones. The note is sustained by rubbing a wooden mallet around the bowl’s rim. Traditionally the bowls are used for relaxation but you’ll notice in our production they are used for anything but chillin’ out! Here, the bowls represent the sound of blood rushing around your ears, that sense of panic when you’re faced with a situation you can’t handle, or when fear literally freezes you to the spot.
The Schwirrbogen – initially played by Ameira Darwish (Soraya) at the opening of the play – or ‘large, over-grown wooden football-rattles’ as one reviewer said (hmm!) – were something I introduced into rehearsals in Nottingham from an early stage. With Kitty Winter, the movement director, we slowly worked the Schwirrbogen into the story, highlighting key moments of drama throughout the show, including the central kite-fighting tournament of the first half, becoming the wind beneath the fluttering kites in the Afghan sky.
There are other drones too, including the tampura – a wooden, Indian stringed instrument – to underpin other moments of drama. The tampura is useful for situating our drama in the near-east, as well as providing the backdrop for story-telling and songs alike. It wasn’t feasible to have more physical instruments on stage, so the tampura sounds – Ma, Pa, Nee or Ord, two drones sounding at different intervals – are instead triggered through the digital sound-desk. Drones, in all their many forms, are one of the most useful compositional tools when working in stage or film, providing a simple but subtle backdrop to all kinds of scenes.
The songs themselves are sung live but off-stage, hidden from the audience. The singers can see the action, but we can’t see them. I experimented with a number of ragas – Indian classical scales, akin to Western major and minor scales – to reinforce the authentic nature of The Kite Runner. In the end, the songs were based on Raag Malkauns, one of the oldest Indian ragas, each one a variation on the other (apart from the female ‘wailing’ song). The raga contains a haunting, contemplative character that lends itself well to the play. I decided to re-write the songs as duets when we moved to London (at the Wyndhams) in 2016. I must say a big thanks to our first Hassan, Farshid Rokey, for translating some of Matthew Spangler’s text into Dari, and these songs are written down in traditional Western notation.
The only ensemble song is in Farsi – the Happy Birthday song sung for Amir, Tawalodet Mubarak, in the first half. The words are traditional birthday lyrics, but unlike the Happy Birthday that I have sung for years, every Tawalodet has a different tune!
There’s some beautiful Afghan songs we’ve also used that I can take no credit for – the amazing Ahesta Boro for the wedding scene for example – as well as some inspired sound-effects provided by the brilliant Drew Baumohl (another key collaborator!). Plato said “music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul”. Thanks to the wonderful writer Khaled Hosseini and to Matthew Spangler, who adapted this story for stage, The Kite Runner certainly has a way of reaching those secret places too, with a little help from the music and visuals. Tashakur!
Jonathan Girling Composer & Musical Director -August 2017 jonathangirling.co.uk @jongirlingRead more
Producer Martin Dodd’s career has encompassed performance, theatre management and large-scale outdoor event production as well as promoting and producing all of UK Productions’ shows and events since its inception. UK Productions was formed in 1995 to produce musicals and pantomimes, for which it is now one of the country’s most prolific producers.
West End credits include: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Theatre Royal, Haymarket). Other producing credits for national and international tours include: The Kite Runner (2014), 42nd Street (1997, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2012), Oklahoma! (2010), Singin’ in the Rain (2009), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2005–2010), South Pacific (2007/8), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (2001/2, 2005/6, 2008/9), Jekyll and Hyde – The Musical (2004/5), Carousel (2003/4 and 2000), Fiddler on the Roof (2008, 2003), Murdered to Death (2002), Anything Goes (2001), The Pirates of Penzance (1998/9) and Barnum (1995/6). Other tours include: three original dance shows starring Wayne Sleep – World of Classical Ballet, Aspects of Dance and Ready Steady Dance (also starring Melanie Stace), and concert tours with Petula Clarke (1997/8) and Dave Willetts (2004).
During Christmas of 2016/17 they will produce ten pantomimes. The Theatre Royal Bath, Grand Theatre Blackpool, Anvil Basingstoke, Pavilion Theatre Bournemouth, Festival Theatre Malvern, Palace Theatre Mansfield, Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Pavilion Theatre Rhyl, Empire Theatre Sunderland, and the Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge Wells will all receive the UK Productions treatment of all-star casts in traditional shows backed by lavish sets and costumes.
Upcoming productions include: a national tour of Legally Blonde the Musical starring Rita Simons during 2017/18, as well as their regular children’s shows starring television favourites including Chris & Pui and Dick & Dom.
UK Productions also operates a busy production hire business utilising its extensive stores of musicals, pantomimes and play sets and costumes.
It hires out part and full productions to professional and amateur companies across the UK and internationally as well as designing and making sets, props and costumes to order.Read more Read less
DEREK NICOL AND PAUL WALDEN
FLYING MUSIC /FLYING ENTERTAINMENT
Entertaining the nation for over 30 years, Flying Music and Flying Entertainment have produced numerous nationwide tours and have presented a wide variety of artists including Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Dionne Warwick, Glen Campbell, the Four Tops and more.
Their long-running show, The Solid Silver 60s Show – commonly referred to as a British institution – celebrates its 32nd anniversary in 2017. This winning formula has been adapted to produce The Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Show, its American counterpart The All American Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Show and Maximum Rhythm ‘n’ Blues all of which continue to enjoy regular touring and national success. An innovative approach to creating brands has seen them move into the world of theatre. Original shows created by the company include Hollywood and Broadway, The Magic of the Musicals, Salute to Sinatra, Dancing in the Streets which ran for two years in London’s West End and the Olivier Award nominated Rat Pack that enjoyed a three-and-a half-year non-stop run in London, notching up over 1000 performances. The show continues to tour throughout Europe, USA and Canada.
Flying Entertainment joined forces with SJM to present the European premiere of Green Day’s hit Broadway musical American Idiot. The 10-week UK tour opened to standing ovations and rave reviews – rock fans and regular theatregoers stood side by side at this innovative musical that brought the two genres together. In partnership with Canadian producers Annerin, Flying Entertainment took the music of The Beatles back to its home in Liverpool in 2015 when they re-opened the famous Royal Court Theatre with the global smash hit Let it Be, a celebration of the music of The Beatles. A nationwide tour followed.
Thriller Live, the concert spectacular celebrating the career of Michael and the Jackson 5, resides in the West Endat the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue playing to packed houses, rave reviews and standing ovations.
Now a mainstay in London’s West End, Thriller Live is soon to celebrate its ninth birthday and has played to over five million people worldwide.
December 2016 sees the West End premiere of TheKite Runner, co-produced with UK Productions and based on Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel. This powerful production opens at Wyndham’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.
Future productions include brand new musical comedy Adam & Eve…and Steve.Read more Read less
Nottingham Playhouse has been one of the UK’s leading producing theatres since its foundation in 1948. It welcomes over 110,000 customers through its doors each year and creates productions large and small from timeless classics and enthralling family shows to adventurous new commissions, often touring work nationally and internationally.
Notable productions include 1984 – three runs in the West End and currently on tour in Australia; Any Means Necessary, a new play about undercover policing; Tony’s Last Tape which toured nationally this year; and a forthcoming revival of Touched starring BAFTA winning actress Vicky McClure and Aisling Loftus.
Supported by Nottingham City Council and the Arts Council England.
Artistic Director: Giles Croft
Chief Executive: Stephanie Sirr
Artistic Director Designate: Adam PenfordRead more Read less
LIVERPOOL EVERYMAN & PLAYHOUSE
We are two distinct theatres, almost a mile apart, which together make up a single artistic force.
For over 10 years we have been driven by our passion for our art form, our love of our city and our unswerving belief that theatre at its best can enhance lives. While our two performance bases could hardly be more different, they are united by our commitment to brilliant, humane, forward thinking theatre that responds to its time and place.
Our mission is to reflect the aspirations and concerns of our audiences, to dazzle and inspire them, welcome and connect with them, nurture the artists within them and fuel their civic pride. Wherever these connections happen – whether in our theatres, in the community, in schools, or outside Liverpool – we hope to ignite the imagination, explore what it is to be human and always to exceed expectation.
From 2017 a resident acting company returns to the Everyman. The Company will comprise 14 actors, a team of three designers and in-house directors Gemma Bodinetz, Nick Bagnall and Matt Rutter. The theatre will become a place of change and diversity that welcomes people from all backgrounds to enhance and develop their skills. From February to July they will perform Fiddler on the Roof, The Conquest of the South Pole, The Story Giant, The Sum and Romeo and Juliet.
To find out more about the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse work, both on and off stage, call 0151 709 4776, visit everymanplayhouse.com or follow @LivEveryPlay on Twitter.
Supported by Liverpool City Council and the Arts Council England.
Artistic Director: Gemma Bodinetz
Executive Director: Deborah Aydon
Associate Director: Nick BagnallRead more Read less