Trainspotting Live: Ground-breaking production acclaimed by Irvine Welsh returns home to Edinburgh

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According to Irvine Welsh it is "better than either the book or the film" and this August there's another chance to decide for yourself when Trainspotting Live rages back onto the Edinburgh Fringe for another year.

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article

Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, originally adapted for the stage by Harry Gibson, Trainspotting Live will return to Edinburgh this August ahead of a UK Tour that will take it to six cities across the country. From August 4 to 28 it will play the Cromdale Tunnel at the EICC, Morrison Street, as part of The Pleasance's Fringe programme.

The acclaimed 75-minute immersive production recaptures the passion and the controversy of Welsh's award-winning novel about Mark Renton and his friends, living through the Capital's heroin nightmare of the 80s and repackages the action in a visceral piece of theatre that insists the audience become part of the story and are present throughout the notorious 'Worst Toilet in Scotland' scene, which is brought to life in all its sordid glory.

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Greg Esplin as Tommy in Trainspotting Live
Pic by: Geraint LewisGreg Esplin as Tommy in Trainspotting Live
Pic by: Geraint Lewis
Greg Esplin as Tommy in Trainspotting Live Pic by: Geraint Lewis

The production, which sold out at the Fringe from 2015 to 2018 has now played more than 900 performances worldwide since premiering in the Out Of The Blue Drill Hall, Leith, in 2013.

Actor, producer and director Greg Esplin, founding member of original producers In Your Face, has been there since day one, and says, “After three years away and a pandemic. I am over the moon to be bringing Trainspotting home to Edinburgh before heading off on a UK tour this summer.

"It’s been too long since we raved, laughed and cried with our audiences and our passion and determination to give you a night to remember is stronger than ever.

“Theatre is alive and kicking again and we can’t wait to share our show with you.”

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Pic by: Geraint LewisTrainspotting  
Pic by: Geraint Lewis
Trainspotting Pic by: Geraint Lewis
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Joining Esplin, who returns to the role of Tommy, in the cast are Andrew Barrett as Renton, the role made famous by on screen by Ewan McGregor, Lauren Downie as June, Michael Lockerbie as Sick Boy and Olivier Sublet as Mother Superio and Begbie.

As the publicity blurb infers, it's not for the faint of heart: Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting on a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows... Choose rotting away, pishing and sh**ing yersel in a home, a total f***in' embarrassment tae the selfish, f***ed-up brats ye’ve produced. Choose life.

So, if you are a fan of Welsh's much loved anti-heroes, choose this no-holds-barred in-yer-face theatre production, a must for avid fans and an in-yer-face introduction to the work for newcomers to the tale. Tickets are available here and come with 16+ age guidance and warnings of nudity, strong language, sex, violence, and drug/needle use.


Welsh’s cult story was first published in 1993 and released as a film in 1996. A sequel T2 Trainspotting followed in 2017. Just last year, Welsh revealed he was working on a West End stage musical version, collaborating with songwriting partner Steve McGuinness and producer Phil McIntyre.

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He told the Daily Record, “I don’t want to jinx something that’s in development, but Steve and I have done 14 brand new songs for a Trainspotting musical.

“We do a kind of techno act together, but we’ve stepped up to write urban house, blues, jazz, disco and rock ‘n’ roll songs and power ballads.”

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