directed by James Reese
The US premiere of Trainspotting, the stage play, opened at the Edinburgh Castle Pub in February 1996. It was an outstanding success, gathering critical acclaim and selling out for three months.
The cast, Derek Pearson, Sandie Armstrong, John Murphy, John Mc Murrough, and Gary Mullan produced remarkable preformances that pushed their talents to the limit. Brilliantly directed by James Reese, Trainspotting in San Francisco introduced the city to the electrifying world of Irvine Welsh prose.
Each night of the show sprung varying responses from the audience. Some people fainted when Renton famously pulled his hand from the toilet, the drips of chocolate and weetabix mix sending some unconscious and others running for the Castle bogs. Breakfast never tasted the same after that.
Tay Kim's aggressive set composed three large blown up images of Thatcher and Reagan at the sides of the stage with the Queen, sitting atop of the toliet bowl throne, in the center.
The soundtrack made mischievous use of traditional Scottish songs of the Highland Andy Stewart variety. John McMurrogh as Begbie, slammed his pregnant girlfriend June to the floor accompanied by the Andy Stewart song, I Love a Lassie. The closing scene was met with the Exploited's Dead Cities.
Trainspotting put the Edinburgh Castle Pub on the map as a venue for challenging stage work. Later plays included Bouncers, directed by the multi-talented Claudio Aronica and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, by Liz Lochead. The Castle stage scene continues to happen. Interested parties with challenging work should contact the venue for production possibilities.