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Irvine Welsh is working on a Trainspotting musical

Choose life, choose the West End

Irvine Welsh has confirmed that he is working on a stage musical version of his book Trainspotting, which was adapted into the 1996 classic film directed by Danny Boyle.

The book was originally adapted into a stage production in 1993 at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre, with Renton played by Ewen Bremner (who went on to play Spud in the film). But this time, Welsh is collaborating with songwriting partner Steve McGuinness and producer Phil McIntyre on a musical production that they hope will go straight to the West End.

“I don’t want to jinx something that’s in development, but my songwriting partner Steve and I have done 14 brand new songs for a Trainspotting musical,” Welsh said of the project.

“We do a kind of techno act together, but we’ve stepped up to write urban house, blues, jazz, disco and rock ‘n’ roll songs and power ballads,” he added. “We’ve got the songs and we’ve got a script for it. We’re looking at things like casting, choreographers, and set designers.”

“We’re looking at doing it about a year from now at the earliest, but I think we’ll probably try to go straight into the West End. That’s the ambition for it.” 

A Trainspotting TV series spin-off is also reportedly in the works, with an adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s 2016 novel The Blade Artist –  which picks up the story told in the author’s previous novels, Trainspotting and Porno – in the early stages of development, according to actor Robert Carlyle.

The story follows a reformed Begbie (Robert Carlyle), who is rechristened Jim Francis and is living with his family in California, though he has to return to Scotland for the funeral of his son.

In the meantime, you can revisit Dazed’s 2017 interview with Danny Boyle and the original Trainspotting cast here.