Radio Sonar text over a picture of the red pod located in The Spark building of Solent University

A Thousand Splendid Suns – NST City, Southampton

Written by Shannon Todd
28th June 2019

On Wednesday the 26th of June, I had the pleasure of seeing the performance of ‘A Thousand Splendid Sons’ at The Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. A harrowing piece based on the book written by Khaled Hosseini; following his bestselling 2003 debut ‘The Kite Runner’.

Set in 1992 Afghanistan ravaged by war, this powerful piece depicts the daily struggles, desperation and fear that bred within that current time. Following the story of young Laila, a newly found orphan, who is quick to be made the second wife of her older neighbour Rasheed. This heartbreaking story sees Laila face loss, brutality, starvation and entrapment all the while trying to contend with being a new mother and doing what is best for her children.

I found this performance not only harrowing but educational. It absorbed me into a foreign culture; which I was fascinated by. The music was enchanting and I can remember thinking how beautiful the wedding gowns were. Don’t let this fool you; I cannot explain how much of an emotional rollercoaster this performance is. Following three generations of women and their truly extraordinary story, which I’m sure wasn’t uncommon at the time. Sujaya Dasgupta’s performance of Laila is captivating. I was transfixed by the cast and their portrayal of a heartbreaking tale.

The Director Roxana Silbert describes A Thousand Splendid Suns as ‘a rare glimpse into 30 years of contemporary Afghan history’, and I couldn’t put it better myself. I highly recommend going to see this outstanding piece of work which will be running until the 6th of July at the Nuffield. It’s a thought proving piece of work that deserves to be seen.

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