Trainspotting sequel Porno to be brought to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe stage this summer

A stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh's sequel to his best-selling novel Trainspotting is one of the first major plays to be confirmed for this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie will make a comeback at the Pleasance Courtyard in August – 20 years after Welsh’s novel Porno was published.

The show will launch at the 75th anniversary Fringe and will premiere in Welsh’s home city in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the original publication of his debut novel next year.

Porno is being adapted from Welsh’s book by the Scottish writer, director, producer and actor Davie Carswell.

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    Billed as “disturbing, shocking and extremely funny,” Porno will revisit the four main characters around 15 years after the events in Trainspotting as they become entangled in Sick Boy’s new pornography-making enterprise.

    Welsh has shared news of the adaptation on social media, telling his Twitter followers: “If you see one thing in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year.”

    There have been two hugely successful adaptations of Welsh’s debut novel for the stage Harry Gibson’s original version for the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, which was launched the year after the book was published, and Trainspotting Live, a new “immersive theatre experience” which has been staged in a tunnel within the EICC complex in Edinburgh in recent years, but has also toured around the world.

    As in Welsh’s novel, the Fringe show sees the return of Renton and Sick Boy to Edinburgh, while Begbie is released from behind bars.

    A new stage version of Irvine Welsh's novel Porno will be premiered at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

    Carswell said: “I’m a massive Irvine Welsh fan boy – I could read his writing all day. His work is still selling at an unbelievable rate because it is so good.

    “I actually wrote the script about five years ago, but had to sit on it for a while until I got the rights for an adaptation.

    “I decided to focus very much on the four main characters that everyone knows and loves. It’s really all about the relationships, the regrets and the age-old rivalries.

    “I wanted to keep it as true to the book as possible. My version is set around 15 years after Trainspotting, to make the characters as close to 40 as possible. Once you’ve reached that age, life is a bit different and you start looking back at what you’ve done.”

    An adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting sequel Porno will be premiered at the Pleasance Courtyard at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

    Carswell previously created stage shows on the Glaswegian boxing icon Benny Lynch and Celtic Football Club legend Tommy Burns.

    He added: “One of the things I’m determined to do with my work is to try to attract people who wouldn’t normally go to the theatre. I always think if you can get people in the door they might like it and then see something else.

    “I could’ve launched Porno with a UK tour and I’ve already got an offer to take it to London before it has even premiered, but the Fringe seems perfect for it.”

    Welsh recently confirmed that he was working on a stage musical version of Trainspotting and a new TV series focusing on Robert Carlyle's Begbie character, which fellow Edinburgh author Jenni Fagan is working on.

    Irvine Welsh's novel Porno is being turned into a stage play to be premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Picture: Alistair Linford

    Welsh has also agreed to be filmed juggling multiple projects over the course of 18 months for an intimate fly-on-the-wall documentary during what he has described as the busiest period of his life.

    Irvine Welsh's novel Porno is being turned into a stage play to be premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
    An adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting sequel Porno will be premiered at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.