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 continues through April 13 at the Elephant Theatre, with award-winning director Roger Mathey again at the helm. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!
In Welsh's bleak, black, tragically funny tale of a wasted generation destroyed by heroin, Mark Renton and his mates Sick Boy, Tommy and Begbie embark on a horrific journey to the heart of a world peopled by psychos, junkies and drunk Scottish fathers. Faithful to the novel, Gibson's adaptation charts the harrowing, but at times hilarious, disintegration of their friendship as they hurtle towards self-destruction. 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. Set in the late 1980s, the novel has been called "the voice of punk, grown up, grown wiser and grown eloquent."
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. Gibson's theatrical adaptation debuted in 1994 to great acclaim before Danny Boyle's 1996 film version made Trainspotting a cultural landmark. First produced in 1994 in the studio at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, the stage version subsequently received an Edinburgh fringe production and went on to tour Great Britain. It received both the Sunday Times Regional Award and the TMA Award for Best New Play, and eventually transferred to London's West End. When seat of your pants Productions brought Trainspotting to Los Angeles in 2002, the production was cited as "a fierce life-affirming dance with death" by the Los Angeles Times, which ranked it as one of the top ten plays of the year, and Mathey was honored with both the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and LA Weekly Award for directing.
Although Gibson's adaptation was originally written for four actors playing all the parts, Mathey received permission to expand the cast in order to better dramatize the exposition. The current cast numbers 19, of which six actors are double cast (alternates perform every Sunday). Returning from the first L.A. production are Justin Zachary, David Agranov, Matthew Tully and Karl Wade. Newcomers include Katie Aquino, Sam Bangs, Sarah Allyn Bauer, Martin George Berishaj, AJ Jones, Elizabeth Knowelden, Libby Letlow, Michael Lutheran, Francesca Manzi, Travis McHenry, Martin J. Riddell, Jonathan Roumie, Katy Townsend, Alison Walter and Ben Wilson.
Scenic design for Trainspotting is by Jason Rupert; lighting design is by Michael Mallinson; original music and sound design are by James Dethlefsen and Brian Palla; costume coordination is by Traci LaDue; and fight choreography is by David Agranov.
Trainspotting continues through April 13, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 7 pm. Tickets are $20 on Fridays and Saturdays, and $15 on Sundays. The Elephant Theatre is located at 6233 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, Calif. (1½ blocks west of Vine). For reservations and information, call 323-960-7785 or go to www.plays411.com/trainspotting.
Photo Credit: Tyson Wade Johnston
Alison Walter and Jonathan Roumie
Justin Zachary and Katie Aquino
David Agranov and Justin Zachary
Justin Zachary and Francesca Manzi
Justin Zachary and Jonathan Roumie
Martin J. Riddell
Justin Zachary and Libby Letlow
Travis McHenry and Justin Zachary
Michael Lutheran and Justin Zachary
AJ Jones and Justin Zachary