REVIEW: Choose Life, Choose This Show, Choose Trainspotting

17 November 2017

'Scottish touring theatre at its best, this production of Trainspotting - adapted by Harry Gibson and directed by Gareth Nicholls - brings home the desperation and tragedy of a lost generation.'


It does so while inducing laughter and tears and, perhaps most importantly, eliciting hope. A series of explicit monologues, linked by often graphic scenes of life in the seedy Leith underworld peopled by addicts, dealers and pimps, Trainspotting offers no-holds-barred snapshots of life as a junkie, capturing the dehumanising effect of heroin along the way. - ***** Liam Rudden, Edinburgh Evening News

This is a thought-provoking production which still strikes a few chords, especially given our current political and economic climate! A must-see for all you Trainspotters out there but be warned: non-Scottish theatre-goers may find the thick Edinburgh/Leith accent isn’t always easy to grasp (and that’s an understatement!). - *****  Claudia A, Theatre-News

So much of Trainspotting is in its performers. Macdonald, our most frequent storyteller, services the role as best as Ewan Macgregor could. None of these performers feels like actors, they feel like residents. Gavin Jon Wright takes the role of Spud, arguably the most fleshy and comedic, and completely encapsulates the part. So easy is it to cross the divide of comedy into the world on unrealistic. Wright never does this, nor does Martin McCormack as Begbie. A character so aggressive, so volatile in their insecurity that the Looney Tunes seem to be one member short. - **** Dominic Corr, The Reviews Hub

“Trainspotting” the stage production is as relentlessly grim as the film (and book), but somehow there is more honesty here and for me it is with its distillation of story line and characters far more powerful than the film.  As the warning with the production tells you, there is nudity and a lot of explicit language here, but this is the world of our “Trainspotters”.   This is a story focusing on a people and their drug addictions, and at one obvious level shining a spotlight on a society and issues that many would just prefer to either look the other way from, or walk away quickly from, but Irvine Welsh choose to stay, observe and comment.

Lorn MacDonald is outstanding as Renton, and without doubt has the potential to be a major figure in theatre (and if he chooses television and film).  Renton, is always a bit of an odd character – yes he has a major addiction, but that has not dulled a sharp mind that is questioning everything around him including social and political order.  Our opening scene shows him more than aware of the system to be abusing it to his own needs.All of our other cast members  - Martin McCormick, Gavin Jon Wright, Angus Miller and Chloe-Ann Taylor are excellent in their parts (or multiple parts) and bring to life characters who at times are simply deeply unpleasant.  This is a grim story and there are some deeply unpleasant scenes here – how they react to a cot death and Begbie attacking his pregnant girlfriend are two that come immediately to mind. - **** Tom King, Southside Advertiser Edinburgh




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