Trainspotting – Smock Alley Theatre – Review


Out Of Time Theatre present Trainspotting
Adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel ‘Trainspotting’ by Harry Gibson

29th June – 4th July in The Boys’ School in Smock Alley

This play is taken from Scottish writer Irvine Welsh’s first novel which was published in 1993. This stage adaptation by Harry Gibson is from 1994 and predates the cult film which was released in 1996. The novel and play take the form of a series of short stories which deal with a variety of characters all living and abusing drugs in Edinburgh in the late 1980s.

As you wait for the doors of the theatre to open, you are greeted by an unusual announcement over the house PA, as you are told the club is now open in a thick Scottish accent. A skinhead then bursts past you laughing and rushes into the theatre. As you descend into the Boys’ school you are greeted by loud music as the Chemical brothers blast on the sound system. The cast members are already on stage, dancing and shouting abuse at each other and members of the audience as they take their seats.

The four cast members play a variety of roles, as the play features upwards of ten characters. This proves challenging for the viewer to try and decipher who each character is.

Those expecting to see the film on stage will be disappointed, as while the majority of the script features in the film, some of the tales and characters did not make it into the screen version. This is not the cohesive film script but a looser version, which makes sense when you realise it is based on a series of short stories.

This production gives great life to the stories and pumps them with energy. There are many inventive ideas and while there is no scenery to speak of, the lighting does a good job to set the scene. It is wildly irreverent and foul mouthed, but as long as you know what to expect, this does not detract from proceedings.  Shane O’Regan takes centre stage as Mark Renton (Rent Boy) and his performance is electric and reason to see the production alone.

Trainspotting – 29th June – 4th July in The Boys’ School in Smock Alley

Directed by Tracy Ryan
Lighting Design by Brian Murray
Cast: Shane O’Regan, Lorcan Strain, Benjamin Musgrave and Deirdre Jones

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