Trainspotting Live - Review

 Trainspotting is an iconic tale. Whether you've read the book by Irving Welsh or seen the film starring Ewan McGregor, it's a cult classic that seems utterly timeless. And now, this story takes on a new stage version that is a complete sensory overload in the most brilliant of ways. 

In Your Face Productions have taken the stage play written by Harry Gibson to create an immersive, visceral 75-minute gut punch that will leave you feeling blown away. After a sell out Edinburgh Fringe season, Trainspotting Live is now on tour and has stopped at its final destination at the MAST Mayflower Studios

It's worth noting the numerous trigger warnings in place for this show. From flashing lights, simulated drug use, nudity, and a slight feeling of claustrophobia at times, the interactivity of this show is the lesser of all trigger warnings needed. Upon entering the theatre we were handed glow sticks of two different colours comprising of unallocated seats or benches set up parallel to each other with the action happening sandwiched in the middle. From the moment you enter the theatre you are plunged into a world of pulsating music, raving cast members and some that clearly appear to have done more than drink. As cast members guide you to your seats you are immediately included in the show, they mingle with the audience, get everyone involved in the rave and set the scene for the next 75 minutes. 

The story of Trainspotting is mainly narrated by Renton, a junkie who is always seeking his next hit. You follow him on his path to recovery and see the highs and lows of the people around him. As the characters invade your space, you see how heroin and other drugs invade the lives of the people on stage. You bare witness to sexual promiscuity, child neglect and that toilet scene. Throughout the story you are able to laugh one minute as the characters break the fourth wall, or choke back tears as you witness the devastating effects that these drugs can have on a young person. 

The cast were beyond incredible, going above and beyond to immerse everyone in the audience fully in the world that they were portraying. Andrew Barrett created chaos and perfect narration throughout the show, from cleaning his completely nude self with a towel in the middle of the audience, to sitting nestled in the audience attempting to chat up a Canadian traveller on the train. Olivier Sublet's Begbie is one to both laugh and cower over. The intimidation he created around the character, and aggression that he put into it as he faced up to actors and audience members alike was incredible. 

Michael Lockerbie's Sick Boy left audience members choking back tears over the death of his child whilst Olivia Caw portrayed every female character with such energy, passion, and conviction that you were left marvelling at how she had the emotional energy to finish the show. Finally Greg Esplin's portrayal of Tommy was incredible. From his speed induced interview to his final demise into the pits of addiction, Esplin, alongside every other cast member left the audience transfixed and in awe of the talent on offer. 

Trainspotting Live is not for the faint hearted. It's a raw, emotional journey that will leave you feeling overwhelmed and in awe of what you are watching in front of you. It's a story that takes you on a sensory spiral into the depths of addiction, loss, and life all packed into a 75 minute show. It's unapologetically brutal and a must watch for all. 

Trainspotting Live is on at the MAST Mayflower Studios until 12/11/2022. It has an age rating of 16+ and contains incredibly strong language and various scenes including drug use and sex. Please read the following link to understand the triggers that are within the show: Trainspotting Live

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