Choose life, choose a job, choose sitting in a theatre wondering who you are on a Thursday evening…
The iconic Irvine Welsh novel has been brought to life on stage by Adam Spreadbury-Maher in collaboration with Greg Esplin in a fully immersive, fully “in yer face” adaptation.
Entering the studio theatre with your glow stick bracelets, loud pumping dance tunes greet you as the cast bounce around to the beat whilst showing you to your seat. The high energy of the seven strong cast sets the tone for the next 75 minutes as you’re launched into the Edinburgh heroin scene of the 80s.
Mark Renton (Frankie O’Connor) leads us through a fearless adaptation which takes the audience along for the ride and then some. It’s no easy feat for the actors to distinguish themselves from the blockbuster movie cast but, for me, each of them portrays their addictive characters brilliantly. Renton’s wretch inducing sofa scene has the audience on edge from the start and Begbie’s (Chris Dennis) violent psychotic nature is thrust into the faces of unassuming audience members whilst Andrew Still’s debauched Sick Boy flirts with the ladies. Finlay Bain’s fun time Tommy lures you into a false sense of security with his relative saneness and lack of drug habit but his insecurities come to the surface culminating in a powerful strobed lighting scene and local lad James Boal takes on the role of Mother Superior, supplying the smack and those suppositories that lead to a vile toilet scene – unlucky if you’re sat near it. Erin Marshall and Rachael Anderson take on the supportive roles of Alison and Lauren with a few shocks of their own for the audience.
This play is not for the faint-hearted, it’s full frontal shamelessness is thrust into your face from start to finish. Nudity, humour, violence and obscenity; you are plunged into a smack ridden world, it’s intoxicating highs and it’s horrifying lows. As the euphoria wanes as does the physicality with the audience and instead we are immersed emotionally into the dark destructive world. A raw, unapologetic production and outstanding performances. If you are a fan of the novel or the film don’t miss out!
Catch it at the Belfast Waterfront until Saturday 3rd February.
To see what else is on in Belfast this month check out my Festival Calendar