Trainspotting

by Irvine Welsh, adapted by Harry Gibson.

Premiere: August 2002 (Fringe Festival)
Remount: Minneapolis Theatre Garage, November 29 – December 21, 2002

The Cast

Mark – Joseph Papke
Tommy/Sick Boy/Drunk – Nate Forneris
Mr. McKay/Johnny/Franco/Boy In Pub – Tarik Karam (Premiere), Sam L. Landman (Remount)
Alison/June/Lassie In Pub – Shannon Tesser

The Crew

Director – Carin Bratlie
Stage Manager – Alan Pagel
Sound Designer – Katharine Horowitz
Dialect Coach – Joseph Papke
Graphic Designer – Nate Forneris

The Press

“Effective” – City Pages
“Blackly funny and searingly honest” – Talkin’ Broadway

The Fun Stuff

Director’s Notes:

The play Trainspotting performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1995. In 1996, the book was made into a film that garnered feverish cult status around the world. Although the play and the film are both based on the novel, they were independently created. They occasionally overlap but the play is darker, more fragmented and follows the spirit of the novel more closely.

With his novel, Irvine Welsh gave a voice to a segment of UK society that hadn’t had the opportunity before. The new voice that emerged was that of the urban, working class Scot. Instead of theatre full of “art”, elevated thinking, or posturing actors, Trainspotting shows us the dark, frightening, and ultimately realistic world that Irvine Welsh saw living in the slums of Edinburgh, far from the tourist centers. And although their dialect is foreign to us, their humanity is not.

Trainspotting focuses on the oddest bunch of characters: comical, pitiful, outrageous, and entrancing. This attention is what makes the show so compelling; we start caring about what happens to these guys. We see how enthralling and devastating heroin addiction is. In the frank telling of both sides we see not just how drugs effect people’s lives but why people become addicted in the first place.

Glossary:

bairn – baby
barry – great, terrific
bevvy – drink
bog – men’s room
bollocks – testicles
chib – knife
cowpin – shagging
crack – banter
cunt – all purpose term for someone else
draft-paks – low-lifes, or a container for alcohol
dole – welfare
DS – drug squad
foostie – rancid, scabby
gadge – guy
giro – government unemployment check
greet – cry
hireys – money
Huns – derogatory slang for Rangers Football Club
joiner – carpenter
junk – heroin
ken – know
keks – underpants
Lee Marvin – rhyming slang for starving
likesay – you know
nash – hurry
O grades – advanced placement classes
oh to be a Hi Be – football chant for Edinburgh Hibernians
pagger – a fight
pished – drunk
plukey-faced – soft
punter – bettor, or fellow
radge – crazy
ride – screw
rock and roll – rhyming slang for “dole”
scoobied – stumped
scran – food
shunky – toilet
slag – insult
sub us – lend me
skag – heroin
specky – bespectacled
square go – fist fight with no weapons
swedge – fight
tattie – potato
trainspotting – a UK hobby of keeping obsessive notes on the arrival and departure of trains. The term is synonymous with wasting time, and people who are a waste of time.

The Gallery