SHOULD the remaining performances of The Kite Runner at the West Yorkshire Playhouse escape you, make a note that Giles Croft's production will be visiting the Grand Opera House in York from May 8 to 12 next year.

Adapted for the stage by Californian university professor and playwright Matthew Spangler, Khaled Hosseini's story stares into the very soul of man, presenting our worst behaviour on the cold slab of the stage, history repeating itself down the years.

Spangler is a professor of playwriting and theatre of immigration in San Jose, where Hosseini settled after leaving Afghanistan. The two have met and the resulting adaptation is as good as you could wish one to be.

Played by adults, Afghanistani childhood friends Amir (David Ahmad) and Hassan (Jo Ben Ayed) are soon to be torn apart, like the triumphant kite "cutting" the line of the loser in the Kabul kite-flying tournament.

What ensues is a web of betrayal, guilt, reconciliation and redemption in a male-dominated world of masters and servants, bullies and victims, where Amir's nascent talents as a writer are not appreciated by his macho father, Baba (Emilio Doorgasingh). So male dominated is this world that only one principal player is female: Amiera Darwish taking her place as Soroya/Mrs Nguyen alongside myriad men, and yet Soroya's transformative influence is crucial.

Giles Croft's direction of his West End hit is nuanced, every scene given due weight, complemented by Barney George's designs that evoke both Afghanistan and the United States, as do William Simpson's projections. Jonathan Girling's compositions and Hanif Khan's musicianship on stage are vital components too, but above all it is the performances of Doorgasingh, Darwish and especially Ahmad and Syed that make The Kite Runner such an extraordinary piece of theatre for our times.

The Kite Runner, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, tonight at 7.15pm, tomorrow at 1.30pm and 7.15pm. Box office: 0113 213 7700 or at