Trainspotting (3 stars)

This article is from 2014


High energy theatre performed in promenade captures bleak, scatalogical humour and morality of novel

Twenty-one years since Irvine Welsh's iconic novel Trainspotting was first published, it's appropriate that young Scottish company In Your Face Theatre should now offer their stage adaptation to the 'rich Edinburgh Festival cunts' so despised by Renton, Begbie et al.

Performed in promenade (i.e. you're on your feet for the show's 75 minutes), it entails the audience moving around the space in semi-darkness as makeshift partitions are shifted about scene-by-scene. It's an ingenious idea, which would work better if the company had more resources.

The lighting of the show, by way of electric torches carried by company members, is atmospherically effective, as is the use of 90s rave music. It's a pity, then, that the masked dancers seem to have stumbled in from a bad Marcel Marceau tribute show.

Nonetheless, the piece captures much of the bleak, scatalogical humour and underlying morality of the novel. Gavin Ross is an engaging Renton in the midst of a variously capable ensemble.

This is high-energy theatre, and it's admirable that the actors manage to perform it three times a day.

Hill Street Drama Lodge, 0131 226 6522, until 24 Aug (not 5,12, 19), £12-£14 (£10-£12).


  • 3 stars

In Your Face Theatre To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Irvine Welsh novel, relive the story like never before. Take part in this once in a life time promenade experience and expect heavy drug use, strong language and scenes of both a violent and sexual nature. Expect the walls to move, to be part of a rave and the…