Trainspotting Live at the Vaults
Trainspotting Live is back at the Vaults after its international success. This is an experience that’s definitely not for everyone, but fans of the Danny Boyle film are bound to enjoy the immersive journey.
The live performance – based on Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name and adapted for the stage by Harry Gibson – follows Renton’s journey into drug addiction and his interactions with both 80s society and the people he calls his closest friends. The opening monologue by the excellent Frankie O’Connor sets the pace for what we’re about to see: “Most people choose life. I chose something else.”
Some would think that a play based on this material couldn’t get as explicit as the original source, however a combination of acting, stage design and interaction with the audience help to intensify its impact. The first thing you perceive after getting into the room is loud techno music, neon lights and intoxicating dance moves – and it only gets crazier from there. In this sense, music is a central character in the production. Most of the songs are very familiar since they are featured in the movie, but others have been incorporated for the stage, such as a great cover of Jonny Cash’s Hurt. The soundtrack is very enjoyable and in tune with every single scene.
In terms of actual narration, the choices made by director Adam Spreadbury-Maher are definitely different than expected. Although most of the script is dialogue, plenty of scenes are characterised by a depiction of events, which slows down the pace at times – especially considering that the whole play is very rich in words and heavily laden with descriptions.
The immersive factor was a truly risky venture; even though more than one member of the audience received a splash of water, got thrown a blanket or had to dance along with the actors, somehow it worked just fine. We were forced to merge with this Edinburgh universe of lost souls and zombie life, which was both funny and heartbreaking at the same time.
Photo: Andreas Grieger
Trainspotting Live is at the Vaults from 27th March until 3rd June 2018. For further information or to book visit the show’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Trainspotting Live here: