Creative Learning


We were delighted to welcome the Director of The Kite Runner, Giles Croft, as our special guest to this month’s Grand Creative Network. Clancy Mason, Relationship Manager Arts Council North (Libraries) was the co-host for the evening.  The Grand Creative Network is for artists, teachers, students and practitioners who want to gain an insight into the people involved in The Grands’ touring programme as well as into each other work. It offers support and shares information about creative opportunities. We also offer training through the network and connect with our regional and national partners who work in dance and drama. The Grand invited Giles Croft as a special guest to the Network to share his approach to directing The Kite Runner, which will be performing at The Grand from Tuesday 8 to Saturday 12 May.

Giles Croft gave a fascinating insight into the stage adaptation process and how he created the acting ensemble around the production. Croft worked closely with Matthew Spangler, who adapted The Kite Runner, in order to include the actors’ suggestions. Giles described his responsive approach to the actors, as they engaged with the story and how it was important to involve them in understanding the adaptation process from novel to script. Mathew Spangler would then take their suggestions for script adjustments where possible.

Giles spoke about how one of the first things he did with his actors was to learn how to fly kites and then go through a process of sharing personal experiences and secrets as a way of connecting with the story of The Kite Runner.

During the adaptation process Giles explained how important it was to retain the first-person narrator within the play. Which Mathew Spangler does. This is at the heart of the novel and creates the strong connection between the personal and epic qualities of the story. In the play the actor who plays Amir has a challenging role as he steps in and out of the action to narrate.

Giles discussed the theatrical language of the play and he explained how music and sound effects were important to replicate the feeling of being in the Middle East. This included tabla playing, singing bowls and schwirrbogen. Giles brought a schwirrbogen with him and treated us to a demonstration!  They are particularly used to help create the atmosphere around the kites, replicating the wind sounds.

Giles chose to use naturalistic costumes with a flowing set, using rugs to move from scene to scene with projections to help locate the change of settings across the continents.

Celine Wyatt, Creative Learning Manager said; ‘’When I first read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini it had a profound effect on me and I remember thinking that my eyes had been opened to a new world through a compelling story of friendship, redemption and forgiveness.  A painful story that was at times hard to read, but ultimately life affirming. I am really looking forward to seeing the stage production of The Kite Runner. Quality storytelling that helps us to, understand and learn a more about universal human experiences.’’

The Grand Creative Network usually meets between three and four times a year, if you are interested in coming or finding out more please contact Don’t worry if you can’t make this event, Creative Learning run many events throughout the year for ages 3 to 103! Just keep visiting our blog to hear about the next event or sign up to the Grand Theatre’s Twitter or Facebook page. Why not follow us on Instagram too!

Click here to book tickets to see The Kite Runner, when it comes to the Grand Theatre Tues 22- Sat 26 May, or call our Box Office on 01253 290190. Watch the trailer here.