As we draw closer to the release of the sequel for Danny Boyle’s shocking 1996 film, Trainspotting, based on the hit book by Irvine Welsh, there has never been a more apt time to revisit the original characters and story.
Thankfully, In Your Face Theatre have assembled an authentic Scottish cast to recreate Welsh’s novel in the most unique, incredible, and certainly memorable way possible – with an immersive live production of the gritty black comedy drama.
Telling the story of Mark Renton and his friends as they fight their way through Edinburgh’s heroin scene in the 80s, this is one performance that will make you laugh, cry, and grimace throughout its entire 75-minute run time.
But if that isn’t enough to convince you to watch the show at London’s Vaults Theatre, here are five more reasons why you should check it out:
1. You won’t ever watch anything like it
Let’s get one thing out of the way; this show is unlike anything that you have ever seen before. When you walk into the theatre, the cast are already mid-rave as they usher you to your seats and thrust glow sticks in your face.
They interact with audience members throughout the show, sometimes in a terrifying way and other times in a hilarious way – one minute you can have Renton’s disgusting bedsheets being thrown over your heads, the next you’re being shouted at by the unpredictable Begbie – all whilst the story faultlessly unfolds in front of your very eyes.
The immersive aspect of the show means that there will never be a passive audience, and as the production progressed you could feel every single patron in the theatre becoming more and more emotionally involved in the plot, which makes the second act all the more difficult to watch.
2. The acting is out of this world
It would have certainly been easy for the production to just rely on the gimmick of an immersive show, but arguably the most impressive aspect of Trainspotting Live is the stellar cast and mindblowing acting talent all around.
Much like the film and the book, the first half of the show mostly depicts the characters having fun and messing around without a care in the world, however, the second act takes a sudden and harrowing turn for the worst and this is when the cast have a real chance to shine – and boy, do they shine.
Which leads us to reason #3…
3. It’s gritty
Trainspotting Live is most definitely not all fun and games and by the time the cast return to the stage for their well-earned bows, you will be feeling emotionally drained in the best possible way.
The second act will have you on the edge of your seat as everything starts to deteriorate for the characters; from the scene where Alison and Sick Boy discover Alison’s baby, which has died due to the neglect of his heroin-addicted mother, to the moment that a clean Renton discovers Tommy’s lifeless body after introducing him to the Class A drug, absolutely nothing is hidden away or sugarcoated on this stage.
After laughing and grimacing your way through the first half of the show, you will be ending the night in tears – after all, Trainspotting most definitely isn’t a fairytale; it is a difficult and harrowing insight into the world of drug addiction.
4. It’s loyal to the book
As you can probably tell by the familiar scenes that have already been described, the theatre production of Trainspotting is incredibly loyal to Irvine Welsh’s original book – which will no doubt be a huge bonus for fans.
At just 75-minutes long, the production has obviously been forced to take a couple of shortcuts but certainly not to the detriment of the overall play, and it has even had Welsh’s prestigious seal of approval.
The author commented: “I was shocked and I wrote the f***ing thing”.
Just imagine how the rest of us felt, Irv!
5. It’ll stick with you
It’s not very often that you see a show and it continues to play on your mind long after you have left the theatre, but Trainspotting Live has the ability to stick with you for the days, if not weeks, that follow.
The show takes the audience on a roller-coaster of emotions; nerves when you first walk into the unknown, not quite sure what to expect, the excitement at seeing the play unfold, laughter at the characters antics followed by sadness, shock, and – above all – awe at what you have just witnessed.
Intense and moving, this is without a doubt a show that you will be urging your friends and family to see before it leaves its London base, which is why all that is left to say is: Choose Trainspotting Live.