The cast of London’s hit drama, The Kite Runner, have added their own protest to the global wave of anger at restrictions America’s new president, Donald Trump, has imposed on visitors to the USA.
The newly imposed ban on all citizens – refugees or not – from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the USA was challenged by the cast in the West End last night.
Actors from The Kite Runner read out a plea for compassion.
Cast member Emilio Doorgasingh told the audience at Wyndham’s Theatre: “In the light of extraordinary events unfolding on the world stage at the moment, we, as a company, felt that we had to say something.
“The Kite Runner is about many things, one of which is the story of refugees in America.
“Last week an executive order from the US president banned all refugees from entering the United States, and banned all citizens, refugees or not, from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“Due to the nature of this play we feel it incumbent upon us to speak out against such actions.
“We, as a company, are a diverse family of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. We are Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and non-believers, but what unites us all is our belief in humanity.
“Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, and himself a Muslim-American, came to the United States as a political refugee.
“He points out that this executive executive order will target mostly ‘women and children escaping years of atrocity and unspeakable suffering, but this is a time for compassion and solidarity, not divisive policy that undermines core values’.
“He goes on to say that this is ‘a time for compassion and solidarity, not divisive policy that undermines [our] core values’.
“We, as a company, embrace these sentiments, and we hope you’ll do the same through your compassion, generosity, and actions, however small that might help alleviate the plight of the world’s refugees and displaced peoples.”
The entire audience, who had given the cast a standing ovation, sat down and listened in complete silence to the speech, then broke out into loud applause and cheering, with many giving the cast a further standing ovation.
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel and film, is a powerful story of friendship spanning cultures and continents, following one man’s journey to find redemption.
Adapted into an acclaimed stage production that has already mesmerised audiences across the UK, The Kite Runner plays at Wyndham’s Theatre until March 11.