What did Irvine Welsh say when he saw Trainspotting Live? “I was shocked and I wrote the fucking thing.” Catch up on other Irvine Welsh quotes – from and about Trainspotting – below. And then get booking for this current immersive hit, now running for an extended season at The Vaults in London before transferring for to New York for its Off-Broadway premiere in July.
Staged in London in a tunnel at The Vaults opened exclusively for the production, Trainspotting Live captures the passion and the controversy of the famous novel, then globally successful film, and repackages it into a full-throttle show where the audience are literally part of the action, including the notorious ‘Worst Toilet in Scotland’ scene.
Against a dynamic soundscape of 80s dance music, the stories of a group of friends living through the Edinburgh heroin scene – Renton, Tommy, Sick Boy, Begbie and Alison – are brought to life with humour, poetry and provocatively graphic scenes It’s a ticket to ride you won’t soon forget. Choose life. For avid fans this is a must, and if you’ve never read the book or seen Danny Boyle’s iconic, generation-defining Trainspotting film: this is your ticket to a ride you won’t soon forget.
The 2018 London cast are Rachael Anderson (Laura), Finlay Bain (Tommy), Chris Dennis (Begbie), Erin Marshall (Alison), James Boal (as Mother Superior), Andrew Still (Sick Boy) and Frankie O’Connor (as narrator Renton, immortalised onscreen by Ewan McGregor). Trainspotting Live, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, adapted by Harry Gibson, is directed by King’s Head Theatre artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher in collaboration with Greg Esplin. The 75-minute staging contains nudity, very strong language and heavy drug/needle use. It carries an age guidance of 16+.
Trainspotting Live runs from 27 March to 3 June 2018 at The Vaults, Leake Street, London SE1 7NN. Performances (75 minutes) run Tuesdays to Sundays at 7pm, plus Thursdays to Saturdays at 8.45pm and late night at 10.3pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are priced £20 to £35. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Irvine Welsh on Trainspotting
“Trainspotting was not only my first novel, it was my first real attempt at writing, so I’m very proud of it.”
“Drugs were part of the normal landscape when I was growing up. The game changer was getting seriously addicted to heroin in my early 20s. I didn’t have any money to lose, so for about a year I got into the dark world of scams and multiple giro claims, petty shoplifting and theft. I was constantly borrowing from people and running up debts, and that changes people’s perceptions of you. I felt I was on top of it for a while, but I started to disintegrate within.”
“Trainspotting has become part of the culture.”
“I’ve resigned myself to being called ‘Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh for the rest of my life’, even though I’ve written better books and will hopefully continue to do so. I just know that for the last decade a big grin has split my face twice a year when the royalty cheque hits the doormat. So being the Trainspotting guy isn’t bad.”
“A whole new bunch of young kids seem to discover [Trainspotting] every couple of years.”
“I get asked a lot at interviews whether I hate Trainspotting as its success must have cast a huge shadow over everything else I’ve done. But it’s always people who never have and probably never will write a book who ask that question. What you want as a writer is for people to read your books, and to have that kind of success with your first one was a dream come true.”
From Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
“It’s SHITE being Scottish! We’re the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilisation. Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonised by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonised by. We’re ruled by effete arseholes.”
“Personality, I mean that’s what counts, right? That’s what keeps a relationship going through the years. Like heroin, I mean heroin’s got a great fucking personality.”
“We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it. We realise that we’re all going to die, without really finding out the big answers. We develop all those long-winded ideas which just interpret the reality of our lives in different ways, without really extending our body of worthwhile knowledge, about the big things, the real things. Basically, we live a short disappointing life; and then we die. We fill up our lives with shite, things like careers and relationships to delude ourselves that it isn’t all totally pointless.”
“By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be.”
“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”