Trainspotting: Live

Trainspotting 1

Credit: Geraint Lewis

It’s not often that a production leaves me wanting to go straight back and see it again but that is how I felt after watching Trainspotting: Live at The Lowry this week. The incredibly immersive offering, based on the cult Irvine Welsh novel, is punchy, powerful and fizzing with gritty realism. Co- directors Adam Spreadbury-Maher and Greg Esplin have delivered a genius piece of modern theatre which gives audience members the full ‘Trainspotting’ experience as soon as they walk into the auditorium.

Conventionality goes out of the window from the start – there’s no seat numbers on your tickets, instead you are given a glo-wristband where the colour denotes where you’re placed for the show. When you step inside the auditorium the action has already begun and all seven actors that make up the cast are dancing their tits off, glo sticks aloft and banging music playing at full blast. It’s like you are in an underground rave and the electricity and pumping bass lines hit you like a bolt!

Either side of the action are raised seating areas which mean you face each other side on and can witness every hilarious reaction to the crowd participation. It’s not the most comfortable way to watch a show but, as it’s just 75 minutes straight through and hugely transfixing, the numb posterior doesn’t detract you from the action. One thing to note seating wise though is if you are placed by the mid seating toilet then prepare yourself for a soaking as the infamous ‘worst toilet in Scotland’ scene becomes all too real.

Trainspotting: Live is certainly not for the fainthearted or the easily offended but if you have read the cult novel or seen the film you should be fully aware of what to expect. The beauty of this production is that every night of the run will bring with it a new element of audience related ad-libs, depending on the crowd, as the cast find new ways to offend and delight in equal measure. There’s full frontal nudity, needles, soiled sheets and even a used condom hurled out into the audience!

Credit: Geraint Lewis

The young Scottish cast should be applauded for the physicality of their performances, each one giving all of their energy to the roles, visibly sweating their way through scenes. It’s hard to pick out anyone from such a strong team but a special mention must go to Gavin Ross who plays the central character, Renton. Ross gives a stellar performance and revels in the part that Ewan McGregor made his own. Together the seven strong ensemble bring to life all the key characters and scenes alongside superb use of lighting, sound and a script which is every bit as edgy as the screenplay, immersing you into the dark world of drug addiction from the off.

20 years after Trainspotting hit our screens and asked us to ‘choose life’ 2017 saw the release of the follow up, T2, introducing a whole new generation to this powerful and evocative story. Trainspotting: Live just enhances this following further and I’m sure in its own right will become a cult classic amongst theatre goers and fans alike.

Rest assured you will not be disappointed in this breathtaking, rollercoaster of a show so get your tickets fast and don’t miss it if it stops at a station near you anytime soon.

Runs at The Lowry, Salford until Sat 11th June

https://www.thelowry.com/events/trainspotting

*Best availability for tickets, Thursday 8th June*

Trainspotting – In conversation with director Adam Spreadbury-Maher

 

Credit: Geraint Lewis

Fresh from its phenomenal success on a world tour, the smash hit immersive theatre production of Irvine Welsh and Danny Boyle’s iconic, generation defining Trainspotting comes to The Lowry Tue 6 – Sat 10 June.

 

The production captures the passion and the controversy of the famous novel, then globally successful film, and repackages it into a no-holds barred immersive show – the audience are literally part of the action, including the notorious “Worst Toilet in Scotland” scene!

 

Directed by Kings Head Theatre artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher in collaboration with Greg Esplin – the tour follows an eleven-week run at the Vaults and two sold-out seasons at the King’s Head Theatre.

 

Credit: Geraint Lewis

Opening Night got the chance to get up close with director Adam prior to the show coming to Salford.

 

ON: So what can we expect from this production of Trainspotting Adam?

 

ASM: For anyone who knows the film or the book you will know it’s an expansive story and covers a lots of times, places and people. We’ve only got seven actors so some of them do a bit of doubling and tripling up for us. Often we need the audience to become characters for us and sometimes they need to create extra bits of set for us. So, there’s a fair amount of being engaged with the piece and involved. It’s all about lots of fun which you will enjoy.

 

ON: What’s been the reaction from audiences who have seen it?

 

ASM: They loved it, it’s been amazing. You get all the fans of the film and the novel but you also see a completely new generation like 17 and 18 year olds who have just heard about the buzz on twitter and Instagram and are coming to check out what it is. There’s an amazing melting pot of people coming together to experience it.

Credit: Geraint Lewis

ON: How has it been for the actors being involved in such a ‘no-holds barred’ production?

 

ASM: We have a very brave and hard-working troupe of actors. It’s really wonderful to take a piece of theatre out from the proscenium arch where there’s a big gap between the audience and the piece and bring them right up close, I specialise in that kind of thing. For the actors there’s nowhere to hide and you can’t fake it, it’s got to be real.

 

ON: That’s quite a challenge isn’t it…

 

ASM: Yes, because it’s such a show that relies on the audience you never know what kind of show it’s going to be. The kind of audience that is there very much dictates how the it is going to go which is quite exciting but at the same time daunting.

 

ON: Were you a fan of Trainspotting before this?

ASM: I remember watching Trainspotting the film when I was 14 years old, it was one of the most incredible cinematic experiences I can remember from my childhood. Danny Boyle made a beautiful film, with a strong image about a character lying on the carpet in the lounge room just slipping down beneath the floorboards which was quite a toxic memory that has been imprinted on my mind.

 

ON: How do you feel about the show coming to The Lowry in June?

 

ASM: It’s always been my ambition to have my work at The Lowry and I can’t wait until we come there, especially as this marks my debut as a director.

 

We can’t wait for this production to come to Salford too. Choose to get your tickets now!

 

Trainspotting

Date: Tue 6 – Sat 10 June

Time: Tue – Sat 7pm. Fri & Sat 8.45pm.

Tickets: £22 – £27

Website

 

For full tour information, please visit trainspottinglive.com

 

Running time: 75 minutes – no interval

Warnings: Contains nudity, very strong language, heavy drug/needle use.

Age guidance: 16+