How the novel became a cultural phenomenon
Trainspotting is a novel by Scottish writer Irvine Welsh that was published in 1993. It tells the story of a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh in the 1980s. The novel was a huge success, selling over a million copies in the UK and being translated into more than 30 languages. It also spawned several sequels, two films directed by Danny Boyle, and two stage adaptations.
Why Irvine Welsh decided to create a musical
According to Welsh, he was persuaded to create a musical version of Trainspotting by Phil McIntyre, a west end producer who had worked on shows like We Will Rock You and The Commitments. Welsh said that McIntyre had been sending him cards with “Trainspotting the musical” written on them for years, until he finally agreed to give it a try. Welsh said that he wanted to be the one to make money from his novel, before someone else did.
What the musical will be like
Welsh said that he and his songwriting partner Steve McGuinness have written 14 new songs for the musical, in different genres of music that reflect the characters’ tastes. He also said that they have licensed three songs from the film: Lust for Life, Born Slippy, and Perfect Day. The musical will feature the original characters from the novel: Renton, Spud, Sick Boy, and Begbie. Welsh said that the show has been cast and rehearsed, and that they are looking for a suitable theatre in London’s west end to launch it early next year. He also said that he hopes to take the show on tour around the UK, and bring it to Edinburgh.
How Irvine Welsh is celebrating 30 years of Trainspotting
Welsh said that he is throwing two parties for Trainspotting in London and Edinburgh, with DJs and fun activities. He also said that he is taking part in a series of events hosted by Edinburgh University’s new writer-in-residence Michael Pedersen, where he will discuss his novel with Kevin Williamson, the founder of Rebel Inc, the magazine that first published excerpts from Trainspotting. Welsh said that he was surprised by the impact of his novel, which he thought would be outdated by the time it was published. He said that he felt that Trainspotting had gone right into the culture and had its own life.
What Irvine Welsh is working on now
Welsh said that he is still writing books, and that he has not stopped since Trainspotting. He also said that he is involved in several TV projects based on his characters. He said that Dougray Scott is playing his detective Ray Lennox in Crime, which has just launched its second series. He also said that Robert Carlyle is reprising his role as Begbie in a separate series, written by author Jenni Fagan. Welsh said that writing for TV is more challenging than writing for books, because there are more restrictions and arguments.