Trainspotting

Irvine Welsh, adapted by Harry Gibson

In Your Face Theatre

Assembly George Square

From 03 August 2016 to 29 August 2016

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

Trainspotting is a perennial favourite with young companies in Edinburgh, just along the Walk from where the action was set.

It generally inspires the inexperienced to excel and this production by In Your Face Theatre is no exception.

This company's guiding ethos is to create a terrifyingly authentic atmosphere. Armed with glowing wristbands, audience members are led to a rave then shepherded into position, the majority squatting uncomfortably on the floor.

They then become an integral part of the performance, often required to get up close and personal with the junkies, led by Gavin Ross as Renton, who inhabit Irvine Welsh's now classic masterpiece.

At times, the unlucky might also find themselves in the way of soiled sheets and other disgusting detritus from the lives of Renton, Sickboy, Franco and the other drug-damaged characters who have achieved fame on page, stage and film.

While the effect is stunning, the storytelling can seem a little sketchy, perhaps as a result of fitting the whole drama into a running time of only 75 minutes.

Even so, this is a unique experience from a bold, hard-working young company who deliver no fewer than 15 performances a week and, for those with strong stomachs, is well worth a visit.