Trainspotting

Irvine Welsh, adapted by Harry Gibson
Spud Theatre
Gryphon at the Point Hotel

There can be few stage plays that are better suited to the Edinburgh Fringe than this adaptation of Irvine Welsh's modern classic, Trainspotting.

Set in Leith, some of the events take place during the Festival, though close to 30 years ago. This was the era of drugs and AIDS, which made Leith almost as dangerous as Afghanistan, where a character's soldier brother loses his life.

Laurie Toczek's production is held together by a fine central performance from Will Fox as Mark Renton. Not only is his acting convincing but, unlike a number of colleagues, so is his accent.

Rents is a junkie, pure and simple. He leads us through a terrifying netherworld where drama is never far away, whether it stems from death, new addiction, spiked food or lost suppositories. The last of these brings about one of the funniest and most disgusting scenes in drama of recent years.

Fox's best support comes from Kat Tanney in both good and bad times as Alison, though Ian Sharpe ably conveys the fear that addiction and impending death cause in the role of Tommy.

Trainspotting remains powerful and feels very much of the moment, with drugs continuing to be an issue and war still raging in Afghanistan.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher