Preview: Trainspotting (Citizens Theatre)
Lorna Irvine catches up with Gareth Nicholls on his new adaptation of the Irvine Welsh classic
Citizens Theatre stage director in residence, Gareth Nicholls, is taking on an iconic story, 22 years after it first arrived at the Gorbals' theatre. Irvine Welsh's famous story set in the 1980s of a group of drug addicts from Leith was subsequently made into a massive 1996 film by Danny Boyle. This brand new version will be adapted for the stage by Harry Gibson and directed by Nicholls.
With Lorn MacDonald playing troubled anti-hero Renton, Nicholls, who recently received plaudits for his uncompromising work on Vanya and Into That Darkness, has enjoyed the challenge of taking it on. 'I think we've such a good balance between honouring the book, play and all those iconic scenes,' he says, 'while also subverting a few expectations, popping in a few surprises and reimagining the world for a 21st-century audience.'
Having confessed to never seeing any stage productions of Trainspotting before, Nicholls believes he can bring a fresh new perspective, and that it still speaks volumes as a meditation on contemporary society. Nicholls adds: 'What the piece explores – politically, socially, culturally – seems more urgent than ever, and the more we work on it, the more I realise just how important this story is … of a disenfranchised group of people marginalised by society, struggling to escape their own limited circumstances – and that story feels very modern indeed.'
Trainspotting is at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 14 Sep--Sat 8 Oct