“Trainspotting Live” takes realistic theater to the next level

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The month of September offers a little something different for those who live in or who will be visiting the New York City area. While the Big Apple is known for its theatrical offerings, in recent years there are few productions that are as cutting-edge as “Trainspotting Live.”

That’s right—Irvine Welsh’s novel-turned-movie is now a stage play. But it is not just any run-of-the-mill adaption. The selling point off this production is that it is immersive. That means that audiences are going to be closer to the action than they probably had imagined they’d be.
Those familiar with the book and the movie will remember that there were some scene difference between the two. Or, at least the action of the page played out differently in readers’ imaginations than it did on the screen. For example, the early scene that involves a toilet and a suppository and what is most likely the dirtiest bathroom in the world. That is one of the scenes that will take advantage of the “Trainspotting Live” immersive aspect.

About “Trainspotting Live”

The immersive production is off-Broadway. The setting is an actual heroin den, and the graffiti that audiences will see is authentic from the 1980s, too.
For some, the approach the creators and producers have taken to the play might sound like a case of doing too much for no apparent purpose. However, in an age where being fake or inauthentic is a serious charge, and it seems that everyone from school-aged children to corporations are striving to “keep it real,” a play that strives to re-create realistic settings, but goes one step further and locates the play in the real setting, should not seem too far-fetched.

In addition, “Trainspotting” as a novel and a movie resonated with audiences around the world. Americans took to the story of four Scottish friends in the throes of drug abuse, violence, and the dynamics of romance or what passes for it. That the movie and novel turned out to be a bit focused on bodily functions, death, and other aspects relevant to heroin use and overdose seemed not to bother those with a penchant for gritty stories. To be clear, this is not a story for everyone, and “Trainspotting” became a cultural phenomenon before the age of trigger warnings.

Why people love “Trainspotting”

In some respects, it is difficult to catalog why the story of “Trainspotting” means so much to millions of people. There is the classic trope of people fighting against a socio-political system that is against them. Does that adequately explain or create sympathy for the rampant drug use? Probably not. But in the world of the story, the pre-formed society, and what happens to people who cannot find their place in it is a big deal. The resulting futility inspires umbrage in audiences.

“Trainspotting Live”

In addition to creating a lifelike representation of the world of “Trainspotting, the show will also feature an awesome soundtrack.
Throughout the rest of September the play will continue its run at 777 8th Ave., but with a reduced price for some collegiate attendees, but only during September. Tickets are $55. Students at Columbia University can receive a discount by using the code “COLUMBIA.”
The show’s representatives offer a warning about the show’s content, noting that the use of strobe lights, splatter, nudity, adult themes and needles will be present in the production.

For more information, visit: http://www.trainspottinglive.com.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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