8-15 August, 20:10
Edinburgh Festival tourists are ‘the scum of the earth’ according to Sickboy, one of the characters in this adaptation of Welsh’s novel Trainspotting, and spat out in one of the festival venues (Sweet ECA) it draws attention to an issue largely unaddressed at the centre of the Festival.
To most Edinburghers the Festival feels like someone’s having a party in your house and your not invited. Throughout the play, there were moments of real focus and tension and powerful images associated perhaps best with the screen adaptation were conjured: one obvious one being the toilet scene in the bookies where Renton plunges his hand into the toilet bowl to unashamedly scoop out his last hit before going clean.
In true Welsh style, you are made to wince and groan through the whole hour and 50 minutes and leave feeling shell shocked and purged. And yet, the real poignancy of the piece comes from its relevance within the context of the Fringe. Practical Magic Theatre Company have been responsible for bringing acclaimed Scottish productions to the Fringe for a few years now and this cult Edinburgh classic is the perfect foil for festival indulgence. Fringe and international tourists alike would do good to see this strong performance by a Scottish group dealing with local concerns.