Article by Yasmin Sulaiman | 17 Mar 2006
Harry Gibson's adaptation of Irvine Welsh's celebrated novel, currently on its tenth anniversary tour, is a little hard to adjust to: it necessarily leaves out much of the novel's action, and the importance of the characters has been significantly reshuffled. Getting past this, it's hard not to be impressed with this production. The performances without exception are remarkable; the engaging chemistry between the actors is absorbing, their descriptive speech intensely visual. Scenes switch from uncomfortably sinister to laugh-out-loud funny, and the lighting exquisitely complements this constant shift in mood. But despite this, Trainspotting doesn't quite seem to hang together as well as it should. The humorous moments often border on the pantomimic; the driving plot is episodic rather than cohesive. The scene changes resemble a rickety see-saw more than a seamless transition between light and dark and the ending comes too soon, dangling inconclusively in midair in its failed attempt to create a circular sequence of events that the narrative just doesn't allow. [Yasmin Sulaiman]
King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Jan 30-Feb 4.