Macdonald chooses home as Trainspotting returns to Edinburgh

AS a pupil at Broughton High, Lorn Macdonald dreamed of being an actor although, despite having the Choose Life monologue on his bedroom door, he never believed he'd one day play Trainspotting's anti-hero Mark Renton.

Monday, 13th November 2017, 11:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:17 am
Lorn Macdonald as Renton in Trainspotting
Lorn Macdonald as Renton in Trainspotting

However, that’s exactly what he will be doing at The King’s this week when the acclaimed Citizens’ Theatre production of Irvine Welsh’s modern classic tours to the Capital.

Macdonald, who got his first taste of acting at Broughton before joining the Lyceum Youth Theatre, can’t wait to bring the play back to where it all began.

He says, “It feels right to be bringing Trainspotting back home. I’m buzzin’ for the home crowd to see it and for drinks and nights out after. Lust for life, ken?”

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The actor first appeared as Renton in The Citz’ 2016 revival and admits “it means a lot” being trusted with such a coveted role.

“There are few modern, Scottish parts that mean so much to so many people. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there wasn’t a lot of pressure that comes with that.

“But when I got the role I was mainly just excited to see what I could bring to it.”

Adapted by Harry Gibson from Irvine Welsh’s landmark novel, the story of Mark Renton and his fellow Leith heroin addicts surviving the 80s has gripped audiences worldwide since it was published in 1993.

Danny Boyle’s blockbuster movie followed three years later making over-night stars of Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd and Robert Carlyle.

Following in the steps of not just McGregor but also Bremner who played Renton in the original stage production, Macdonald says, “I haven’t met Ewen Bremner but I have met his daughter when I went to visit my drama teacher from Broughton High School where she was studying in her final year.”

He continues, “I was chuffed to see he got the Scottish BAFTA as I really loved what T2 did with Spud and his performance was sterling.”

Born in the Capital and raised in Inverleith, Macdonald laughs as he reveals that as a youngster he spent most of his time in the park “playing football, walking my dugs and acting like a weirdo with mates.”

However, while like many of his generation he admired Boyle’s movie, it was the novel that really fired his imagination.

“I’ve always loved films. So obviously to have such a great film like Trainspotting set where you live means a lot.

“It makes you think people want to hear Scottish voices and stories too.

“The book is a different beast. The detail, scenes and stories that aren’t in the film could be made to make another one.

“I don’t think I’ve read a book that made me laugh and affect me as much as when I first read it.”

Trainspotting, The King’s, Leven Street, tomorrow-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm, £18-£31.50, 0131-529 6000