Leith Theatre and the cult of Trainspotting

A jolly good time was had by all as Irvine Welsh and Ewen Bremner came to Leith Theatre to supplement a showing of Trainspotting last week. Read all about it in the Edinburgh Evening News. £20 a pop, no shy they c***s, till you realise it was a fundraiser for the theatre itself, well worthy of restoration after three decades in mothballs. And it wasn’t only the stars, there were a couple of contemporary punk bands and a cellular tribute to the late Paul Reekie, of fond memory. No seating and a bar at the back, it was an unusual format. Strictly for younger guys than me. But like I say, fun. And important in its own way.

So there were the old die-hards, Welsh’s contemporaries and co-creators from the arts scene, along with a surprising number of younger folk, some of whom were nowt but bairns twenty-one years ago when the film was premiered. It’s ample demonstration that Welsh and Boyle have created and are perpetuating a whole industry. Welsh is updating his characters and Boyle is extending his story-line. Think of Leith as HQ of a world-wide cult.

The biggest cheer of the night came after Tommy says, trying to persuade his pals to join him on a healthy walk in the hills: “It’s the great out-doors… It’s fresh air.” Renton: “I hate being Scottish… some people hate the English, but I don’t… they’re just wankers… it’s a shite state of affairs, and all the fresh air in the world won’t make any f…ing difference.” That line never dies.