It’s 20 years since Trainspotting hit cinema screens and became an instant classic. So, what with this significant milestone and the recent release of sequel T2, isn’t it about time we revisited and re-examined the original? Step forward King’s Head and In Your Face Theatre, with their immersive take on Irvine Welsh’s story.
On the surface, Trainspotting is about drug use and abuse. But it’s far more than that – it’s about a group of young people growing up in a world they don’t believe in. “I chose not to choose life,” says main character Mark Renton, which seems almost sensible given his other options. It’s an extreme reaction, but one that I’m sure many people have sympathy with in these times of Trump.
What made Danny Boyle’s film so memorable was that it drew you into the world of Spud, Sick Boy and Renton – when you watched it, you felt like you were really there, whether that was in the middle of a pill-popping rave or on the floor of a public toilet. By making Trainspotting Live an immersive piece, King’s Head and In Your Face have achieved the same effect – creating both a euphoric and an uncomfortable experience. It’s also, with its gritty gallows humour, very funny.
This one is not just for fans of the film – it’s for fans of risk-taking, raw theatre.