Disturbing. Gruesome. Funny. seat of your pants Productions mounts a revival of the critically acclaimed production of Trainspotting that first rocked Los Angeles in 2002. Entertaining and shocking in equal measure, Harry Gibson’s stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s cult novel about Scottish heroin addicts charts the harrowing, but at times hilarious, disintegration of four friends as they hurtle towards self-destruction in a world peopled by psychos, junkies and drunken Scottish fathers.
The term “trainspotting” refers to the UK hobby of keeping obsessive notes on the arrival and departure of trains, and is synonymous with wasting time—and for people who are a waste of time. Welsh’s novel exploded onto the scene in 1993, stunning audiences with its bleak and darkly humorous depiction of a bunch of no-hopers, heroin addicts and petty criminals attempting to escape the boredom of their lives. Set in the late 1980s, the novel has been called “the voice of punk, grown up, grown wiser and grown eloquent.”
“I try to do work that’s off the beaten path, but that people can relate to,” explains award-winning director Roger Mathey. “When we first mounted this play, I was living and substitute teaching high school in Bakersfield. People there looked a lot like the characters in Trainspotting—low income folks trying to escape their lives with alcohol and drugs. I would hear everyone I knew complain, but never leave or make any kind of active choice to fix anything. “What should I do? I don’t know… let’s get drunk.’ Now, ten years later, with the current recession, watching shows like Breaking Bad and reality TV, it seems to me this piece is more relevant than ever.”
Trainspotting opens on Saturday, March 9, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 7 pm through April 13. Tickets are $20 on Fridays and Saturdays, and $15 on Sundays. The Elephant Theatre is located at 6233 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038 (1½ blocks west of Vine). For reservations and information, call 323-960-7785 or go to www.plays411.com/trainspotting
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