Thursday, 11 May 2017

“Trainspotting” adapted by Harry Gibson
Nottingham New Theatre
“Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting on a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows… “ you know the iconic monologue from Irvine Welsh’s novel and film.
“Trainspotting” is the story of Mark Renton, a University drop out and heroin addict, and his friends, living through the Edinburgh heroin scene of the 80s. Harry Gibson’s original stage adaptation, written before it became a film, was instantly successful and controversial, and won the Sunday Times Award for Best New Play. For this Nottingham New Theatre production, they have created a snappy and vibrant affirmation of the power and humour of the piece.
Having only seen the film, I was looking forward to see how this would transfer to the stage but transfer it did, extremely well.
Just about every expletive known to man was used in the play. It was violent at times and at times incredibly tender. The cast have obviously developed a close working atmosphere because the friendship between Renton and Tommy was wholly believable
Choose a good cast....
Director Will Berrington and Producer Laura Wolczyk chose well in Chris Sharp-Paul in the main role as Renton, George Waring as Tommy, Claire Wimbush in several roles and Pete Przyslo as Begbie. All actors also played other roles as well as their main one. You just have to see Pete as Mrs Renton; like a cross between the Queen video of "I Want To Break Free", "Little Britain" and Monty Python.
Choose some interesting visuals.....
The TV sets provide an interesting psychedelic image of the exterior sets which obviously with the film you can do, not so easy to get that image on stage but it worked well.
Choose one of the most disgusting scenes I've seen on stage....
I won't give too much away but when Renton discovers that he may have lost the drugs he had just bought after a visit to a broken toilet, he sets about retrieving them. Nuff said but whoever created the , gunge shall we say, got the look and consistency spot on!!
There's also a monologue delivered by Claire, as the waitress, which also made you retch as she described how she got her revenge on a pair of English customers.
The show is full of emotion on several levels. it may make you angry, you may feel a love to some of the characters, one thing that I can promise though is that you'll go away from this production with some sort of emotion and talking point.
The drug taking scenes are done well. There may be a temptation to go over the top and glorify it but I think it was done just right.
The production, tech and stage management team behind this also did a grand job. 15 very talented people who all know who they are. They set just the right atmosphere, right from the word "go" when you enter during a nightclub rave scene, the smoke, the lights, even the smell and feel of the play was captured.
The accents were mostly spot on, but I know that getting an Edinburgh and a Glaswegian accent isn't as easy as some may think and on the whole the cast did good. Chris (Renton) was on the money with his softer Edinburgh tone, even through the angry speeches.
There is,as previously said, very strong language, violence, scenes of drug taking, smoking and partial nudity and scenes that some may find offensive. Without these though, "Trainspotting" would not be the success that it is.
It's definitely not too "out there" for the NNT, Mr Berrington, but as this is your final show at NNT, I can safely say that you went out on a definite high, if you'll pardon the pun!
“Trainspotting” is at the Nottingham New Theatre until Saturday 13 May 2017 with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.

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