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Trainspotting

Trainspotting at Assembly George Square. Photo: Christopher Tribble Trainspotting at Assembly George Square. Photo: Christopher Tribble

The room is thumping: music pounding, bodies moving, glow sticks arcing through the dark – a rave in full swing. It is an attention-grabbing start to a production that revels in the confrontational. In Yer Face Theatre’s adaption of Irvine Welsh’s cult novel, Trainspotting, takes place in a converted car park, with graffiti daubed on the walls and half the audience seated on the concrete floor.

This is hands-on, cock-out theatre. The nine-strong cast frequently invades the crowd and there is a high likelihood of being splattered with various fluids. But while the production takes a huge piss on the fourth wall and then rubs its balls on it for good measure, directors Adam Spreadbury-Maher and Greg Eslin have a good grasp of the text and the production evokes the world of Begbie, Sick Boy and their cohorts pretty successfully. 

Gavin Ross has a suitably nervy energy as Renton and there is some strong playing all round. The various narrative threads are well-handled, though the production is stronger at playful invasions of space than it is at the more emotionally charged scenes. It loses momentum slightly towards the end but there is a sense of welcome and affection in the room for this take on a novel that, for better and worse, is inextricably linked with Edinburgh.

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Verdict
A confrontational adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s cult novel
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