See The Walks page for the Hogmanay programme. It will be good to have you along. If you’re just interested, I’ll get you fired up, and you’ll begin to understand what all the fuss is about. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll want to read the book. And if you’ve read the book, you’ll want to read it again and fill in a lot of the puzzles and gaps from when you first read it. If you go home and tell your friends you DIDN’T do the Trainspotting tour while you were in Edinburgh, they’ll ask ‘What DID you do?’
At the request of the Dutch tv company (see previous blogs) I and some people on the tour walked into Central Bar while they were interviewing Big Man Welsh. My companions were from USA, Musselburgh, Spain, Glasgow, that sort of place. We sat round one of the tables and talked with Big Man. It was interesting to hear him say geeks like me know more about Trainspotting than he does. For instance, I asked if he set the apres-court scene in which Renton decides he has to score from Johnny Swan ‘one hit, to get us ower this long hard day’ (Trainspotting p177) in the Central Bar, right where we were sitting. Maybe, he said: it’s possible, but it might have been anywhere. We could guess at this, and it’s very understandable. He wrote it, a long time ago now, and now it’s in the public domain it has become public property – anyone can have a view and play around with his creation. It’s wise of him not to be possessive and authoritarian about it. It’s this open-mindedness on his part that has let him trust the play-makers and the film-makers, to his own – and everyone else’s – advantage.
Meantime, the 30 minute documentary will come out in the New Year. They are saying that the tour will be used as the ‘red thread’ that holds it together and ties the film to location. We’ll see!
They were shooting a scene from ‘Sunshine in Leith’ in Constitution Street outside the Port o’ Leith this week, in bright winter sunshine. Dubbed Leith’s Mama Mia, it is a narrative spun around some of the Proclaimers’ output. The stage show was a runaway success. Meantime, I’m talking to various key fugures involved in the production of Trainspotting the film, and the first production of the play. It’s fascinating to get the inside story and see how things have evolved. My book might not make the 20th anniversary of the launch of the book in August next year, but it might be ready in nice time for the release of ‘Sunshine in Leith’. It’s all happening in the People’s Republic of Leith!