How 69-year-old social club singer landed part in Trainspotting 2
Her name features in the rolling credits of the most keenly anticipated sequels of the generation and for social club singer Margaret Davies it all began on a normal Saturday night.
Catapulted from Leith Walk to the silver screen the 69-year-old was standing on stage at the Edinburgh Masonic Social Club one April evening.
It was a position she’d been in numerous times but as she started to sing, she noticed three people in the audience that “didn’t look like club people”.
And only after a conversation which followed her performance of “Caledonia” did Margaret realise who it was.
“Danny Boyle shook my hand and thanked me for having a chat with him.
“I couldn’t believe it, what was he doing in a social club listening to me sing?”
The Oscar winning director who oversaw the opening of the London Olympics in 2012 was talent scouting for Trainspotting 2.
And three weeks later Margaret, from Willowbrae, received a phone call: “They asked if I wanted to be part of the picture. Now Trainspotting is not my normal kind of film but of course I said yes!”
She was whisked to Bathgate for a costume fitting and over two hot June days she joined hundreds of extras on a housing scheme in Glasgow where she stood in front of Danny to sing Caledonia.
The scene featuring Dougie MacLean’s famous anthem, which was written 40 years ago on a beach in the south of France when he was feeling homesick, comes amid one of the key set-pieces of the T2.
In the new film, set 20 years after the original box office hit, Renton reunites with Sick Boy, who is still embroiled in crime in Edinburgh’s underworld, including blackmail, drugs and sex for sale saunas.
In a sequence drawn from Irvine Welsh’s own 2002 sequel Porno, Renton, a die-hard Hibs fan, is persuaded to embark on a daring scam at a Rangers supporters’ club. They try to blend into the crowd as a series of singers take to the stage to perform terracing anthems. But the pair run into trouble and are forced to think on their feet before fleeing the scene.
River City star Tom Urie has a cameo as the club bouncer who confronts Renton and Sick Boy.
Around 60 people turned out with Margaret, for the filming of the scenes at The Orb, a working men’s club in Bellshill, Lanarkshire.
Margaret, who has been singing all her life, brushed away the nerves and canned the scene in one take.
“I had an inner calm. I was more worried about how hot it was. It was a wee pokey room and there was no window. It was airless. They had people spraying me with water and Danny was so lovely.
“He is charming man with time for everyone who put me at ease.”
And has rubbing shoulders with stars such as Ewan McGregor and Joseph Lee Miller given Margaret a taste for the limelight?
She said: “I will still sing in the social club. It’s closed at the moment for the redevelopment works but if it re-opens I will be back on the stage and as for my experience, I’ll dine out on that for life!”