Rave Reviews for Spangler's "Kite Runner" Adaptation

Matthew Spangler

“The best page-to-stage show since War Horse. . . . . Matthew Spangler’s adaptation held the crowd spellbound. . . . Heartbreakingly good stage version of a popular story earns its place in the West End."  

The Stage Magazine


Professor Matt Spangler’s stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner ran from December 2016 through March 2017 on London's West End at Wyndham's Theatre. The production received a resounding array of rave reviews (see below).

A professor in SJSU’s Communications Studies department, Dr. Spangler teaches courses in performance studies. His areas of research and creative work focus on immigration studies, intercultural performance, cultural globalization, Irish studies, documentary theatre techniques, and the adaptation of non-dramatic texts for the stage.

Dr. Spangler’s other stage adaptations include TORTILLA CURTAIN, based on the novel by T.C. Boyle, and ALBATROSS (with collaborator Benjamin Evett), based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

Below: A scene from "The Kite Runner" at Wyndham's Theatre on London's West End. 

kite runner 


The Telegraph
The Kite Runner soars.” ★★★★

The Independent
"Spangler skillfully balances the scenes in Asia with those of the Afghan refugees seeking to maintain their dignity and culture in the West. . . . It cannot but remind us of the thousands of vulnerable children in Syria today.” ★★★★★

Sunday Express
“The first ‘must see’ of 2017!” ★★★★★

Spy in the Stalls
"Flying story of Afghan innocence has sting in its tail.”  ★★★★

“Just fantastic, one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” 

Jo Good, BBC Radio London
“Not since Ayub Khan Din’s East Is East in 1996 have I seen a play as moving as this.”

Telegraph India
“An instant classic, its extraordinarily emotional ending, hardly leaving an eye dry." 

Theatre Performance Magazine
“Theatre at its solid best.” ★★★★

Jewish Chronicle
“The Kite Runner has set an extremely high standard that other shows opening in 2017 will find hard to reach. . . . Excellent writing combined with a fantastic interpretation.”

London Theatre News 
"The great joy of Matthew Spangler’s stage version of Khaled Hosseini's novel is how it gives the story a vivid, pulsing and imaginative theatrical life, a charmer as well as heartbreaking." ★★★★★ 

London Theatre Reviews 
“The Kite Runner is an utterly heartbreaking story, beautifully and painfully brought to life.”  ★★★★★

London Culture
“Keeps all the plates spinning toward a winning result which is magically far greater than the sum of its parts.”  ★★★★

Broadway Baby
"The Kite Runner is an example of The West End doing what it is loved for: a marvellous story, exotic and involving, beautifully staged and gracefully performed. It opens a window onto a different world and, yet, resolutely speaks about life in Britain today - America too, for that matter. With bracing humanity, The Kite Runner examines the consequences of deception, betrayal and tradition. Kites are always flown, no matter where you live or who you are - and chasing them will help release your soul." ★★★★

Live Theatre UK
"The real star here is the story, but boy, does it shine brightly." ★★★★

Hackney Gazette & Islington Gazette
The Kite Runner is unmissable, taking the West End to new stratospheres . . . makes for high-flying theatrical perfection.”  ★★★★★

Grumpy Critic
"You ABSOLUTELY MUST see The Kite Runner!"  ★★★★★ 

Gushing praise from Fresh Off the Stalls' James Waygood 
“Emotionally spellbinding – do not miss this superb production!” ★★★★

London Weekly News
"This emotional story will stay with you, long after the kites have flown." ★★★★

Theatre World Magazine
"Subtle, mesmerising, heartbreaking”  ★★★★

The West End Whingers 
“An extremely powerful play."  ★★★★★

Entertainment Focus 
“Poignant and touching” ★★★★

Gay Times
"Matthew Spangler's moving adaptation of The Kite Runner soars to new heights in Giles Croft's stunning production." ★★★★

Stage Review
"This exquisitely written & directed performance will massacre your heart & enthrall your senses. I witnessed a standing ovation unlike any I’ve seen in a West End production, and it’s rightfully deserved." ★★★★★

West End Wilma
“A deeply moving theatrical experience.”

This is London Magazine
"In our fearful times The Kite Runner offers an open palm of reconciliation & hope.” ★★★★