Trainspotting Live, The Vaults London

Reviewed by Becky Mary on the 29th March 2018, Evening Performance

Hard hitting, Intense and fully immersive into a lifestyle that many people cannot even begin to think off. You will laugh, you will feel claustrophobic and most of all you will realise to the true extent of hard drugs.

Trainspotting Live, an immersive performance based upon the novel by Irvine Welsh, it follows the life of several people in the times of the Edinburgh heroin scene. The show goes about covering various situations such as living on the dole, domestic abuse, the side effects of drugs and even the consequences.

Overall, I thought the show was incredibly hard hitting and it being immersive it gave you the feel of being completely involved in the character’s various situations and the roller coaster of emotions. The dedication to each character’s situation from the actors themselves was truly commendable, at times I felt they weren’t actors but they were people directly involved with the times. Furthermore, I think that the venue itself is perfect for this piece of theatre being crammed into what seemed to be a giant rave so you feel completely stuck in the situation with the characters really works to the advantage of the overall story.

The show itself is immersive was sometimes incredibly full on and slightly overdone I personally felt but from another perspective, you need to remember that this was the reality of some people’s lives and they had to do this most days. I would say if you are someone who does not like audience participation such as having naked actors climbing over you covered in what I hope was Nutella or having toilet water sprayed across the room or your drink being nabbed, you might want to just go to a Disney based show.

An unusual choice for a person sticking out for me in this piece was the actor Rachael Anderson who played Laura and various ensemble roles. The contrast between each character Rachael took on was just incredible, one character stood out personally for me was when she played the partner of Begbie. Being heavily pregnant and being part subject to terrible abuse from him, Rachael’s emotional commitment to that role was not only eye-opening but gut-wrenching to watch. A truly commendable performance.

Gritty and truly eye-opening, Trainspotting is a must-see show for anyone who enjoys immersive theatre with an in-depth and realistic storyline.

Thanks also to Becky Mary of All Things Stagey who attended for us and guest posted. Find her normal twitter adventures at @allthingsstagey