I’ve always had a mixed relationship with Trainspotting. Having seen the movie several times, I often waver between thinking that the film is either: a) a cult classic and searingly honest view into the life of addiction, and b) seeing it simply as a bunch of selfish people destroying their lives and the lives of those closest to them, whilst showing little remorse for the carnage left in their wake.
Heading into Trainspotting Live firmly on the fence, I can confirm that I finally fall into a new category: I finally connected with the characters and their journey through the highs (pardon the pun) and lows of heroin addiction.
Mark Renton is a heroin addict in Edinburgh’s 1980s party scene. Flanked by fellow addicts Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson and a dealer simply known as “Mother Superior”, as well as non-addicts Tommy and Begbie, Renton moves through life chasing one high after the next. Throughout the course of the show, the gang expereince terrible losses, are faced with their own mortality, and suffer under the weight of a terrible guilt that may be the kick up the arse to finally ditch the drugs for good.
The actors of the In Your Face Theatre Company are certainly that. They throw themselves body and soul into their characters. Their highs become your highs, and their lows will break your heart. I’ve never really connected with any of the characters in the Trainspotting movie, but the crew at IYFTC have managed to squeeze every emotion out of the cathartic climax. This kind of commitment is definitely something to be commended.
However, it does need to be advised that the rating of M15+ is, in this reviewer’s opinion, completely incorrect. Throughout the show, there is full frontal nudity right next to an audience member’s face; the actors will grab your beer and spit it over the crowd; and one patron had to leave the theatre during a scene featuring the abuse of a pregnant woman. Just bear in mind that even for someone who has seen the movie several times, I was shocked at some of the content of the show.
Also, wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet – a certain famous scene involving a toilet definitely does appear. And, like the daring and talented theatre company that runs the show, it’s definitely in your face.
Kryztoff Rating: 4K