Ecstasy (3 stars)

This article is from 2008.


MDMA-fuelled love story

Based on ‘The Undefeated’, one of three stories from Irvine Welsh’s 1996 novel Ecstasy, this piece centres around Lloyd (Jack McGowan), an ageing clubber who wants more out of life than living for the weekend. In the meantime, though, he’s content to drown his sorrows in psychotropic oblivion, downing acid, ecstasy and Temazepam, and bumbling through various blackly comic incidents. Meanwhile, Heather (Maddy Lewis) realises suburban life is destroying her soul, and takes her first tentative steps towards rave culture.

Despite some very dodgy attempts at broad Leith accents, the cast, particularly leads McGowan and Lewis, drive the piece forward apace in their multiple roles. The show immerses itself in the world of clubbing beyond the clichés and grasps some of the truths that informed a time when rave was a vibrant new movement in music and society. There are highs and lows (both chemically-induced and in Lloyd’s psyche) that propel the story, and, while not for the faint-hearted, the production succeeds in encapsulating the club/drug experience with vivid realism.
Purposely dated (the story being set in the mid 90s), Ecstasy captures a period and a mood that will powerfully resonate with clubbers of all ages.

Underbelly’s Baby Belly, 0844 545 8252, until 12 Aug, 1.05pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).


  • 3 stars

This adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel immerses itself in the world of clubbing beyond the cliches, and succeeds in capturing some of the rave experience. Although not for the faint-hearted, this production should resonate with clubbers of all ages. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'

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