A New High: Trainspotting USA, American Revision of Scottish-Set Novel, Will Premiere in Chicago

By Kenneth Jones
April 23, 2012

The dark tale of "Trainspotting," the novel about heroin addicts in Edinburgh, Scotland, best known as a film by Danny Boyle, is being re-adapted as an American-set play written and directed by Tom Mullen for a Chicago world premiere in the fall. Mullen is adapting an earlier play version of the novel.



Under the title Trainspotting USA, the new play of Irvine Welsh's novel will bow at Theater Wit in October. Chicago director Mullen has re-set the action in Kansas City, MO. The play has additional new material by Welsh. The Equity cast and full creative team will be announced shortly.

The British Film Institute named Boyle's 1996 film version of the tale No. 10 on the list of "Top 100 British Films of All Time."

Welsh has written additional stories and novels about the characters in "Trainspotting," including the sequel, "Porno"; "Skagboys," a prequel to be released in fall 2012; and "Bad Blood," a short film based on a section of "Trainspotting."

"Trainspotting" was initially adapted for the stage by Harry Gibson and first produced in 1996 by the Citizens Theatre of Glasgow. The Gibson adaptation has been performed frequently across the U.K. and has also been produced in the United States.

Mullen directed the 2011 Off-Broadway production of the musical Tomorrow Morning, which received Outer Critics Circle and Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominations. The musical premiered in Chicago and won the 2010 Jeff Award for Best Musical (Midsize Division). Mullen's previous Chicago credits include Urinetown at the Mercury Theatre, F**king Men by Joe DiPietro and the American premiere of the musical Departure Lounge by Dougal Irvine.

Trainspotting will play Theatre Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Oct. 14- Nov. 25.

Welsh is the author of 12 works of fiction, including "Trainspotting," "The Acid House," "Ecstasy and Filth," "Glue" and "Marabou Stork Nightmares." He has written three original works for the theatre: Headstate, You'll Have Your Hole and Babylon Heights, the latter with Dean Cavanagh.

Trainspotting USA is produced by Mullen in association with Book and Lyrics Theatricals LLC.

Performances will play Thursdays at 8 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 7 PM and 9 PM, Sundays at 5 PM.

Tickets will go on sale Aug. 1. For more information, visit www.TrainspottingUSA.com.