Here for their second Fringe outing, their 300th performance to be totally precise, are the very aptly nameD In Your Face Theatre company with their hands on, fast paced and no holds barred –what is a hold anyway?- adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.
Gavin Ross excels as Renton in a performance which goes beyond mere acting and totally inhabits his role as the main character, Renton. The rest of the cast is no less impressive –some of them play several roles and seem to reappear in a different guise seconds after leaving the stage in a previous incarnation-making this a true ensemble production and success!
There is a bit of Trainspotting fever around the capital at the moment anyway as the original cast and director Danny Boyle have only just very recently left the city after filming the sequel at various city locations. It has been no surprise to see the likes of Ewan McGregor or Johnny Lee Miller hanging around The Omni Centre or the Central Bar in Leith so the return of this exciting and high-octane adaptation- by far my personal favourite beating the film version hands down- could not be better timed.
Opening with a frantic rave scene-complete with audience adorned in glowstick armbands- the atmosphere is ramped up to eleven before a word of dialogue is even uttered. The dialogue when it comes is coarse, brash, crude, antagonizing and thoroughly entertaining. The cast weave in and out the audience terrifying some, horrifying others but never ever boring any of them. It is a confrontational performance which never allows the audience’s attention to wander.
At times the pace seamlessly slows down a little but it is no less compelling. The sheer melancholy and sadness that lies at the heart of any junkie becomes apparent and the tragedy that lies at the heart of it all –an essential component of Welsh’s book- exposes itself from behind all the macho braggadocio which dominates the stance of the male characters the bulk of the time.
An essential must see at this year’s Fringe –it is already selling out in advance fast so I recommend booking tickets as soon as possible- you really don’t want to be the one to say you missed out.
Trainspotting is at Assembly Underground at 18.00 and 20.30 until August 29th(not 16th and 23rd). Due to popular demand some late night dates have been added. Check at Box Office for details.

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