With yet another adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Edinburgh drug novel Trainspotting about to hit the stage, Fiona Shepherd speaks to two young brothers who have been given their first big break in the production.
It could form the basis of a modern wish-fulfilment fairytale. It has the air ofa Bill Forsyth story. starting in a small town setting and farming out from there. It‘s certainly not lurid or dead-end enough to be the stuff of an lrvine Welsh tale. but it‘s because of an lrvine Welsh talc. the legend in its own shelf-lifetime Trainspotting. that it has happened.
Our story begins in Ardrossan. population 10.000. also known as ‘the place you get the boat to Arran'. Two brothers. Paul and Peter lreland are contemplating their future. Paul has been working in his dad‘s fish shop for longer than he ever intended. Peterjust reckons something will come along sooner or later.
They hear of Act One Theatre Company. a local amateur dramatic group. Both audition to play policemen. This involves standing rigid and mute on a stage for a couple of hours. For some reason the brothers decide this acting lark is something they'd like to pursue more seriously. Encouragement
in their locale is not forthcoming.
‘When you're younger and you say you want to be an actor. petiple look at you like you'll never make it.‘ says Peter. ‘lt's the sort of attitude that comes from a small town where they don‘t like seeing people being successful.‘
‘lt‘s quite stifling if you've lived your whole life there.‘ adds Paul. ‘lt's good to get away.‘
So they get away — Peter to a drama course in Kirkcaldy and Patti to the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Peter then returns to Ardrossan and Paul goes to London. Neither gets any acting work.
Then one day Peter gets a call from the Citizens' Theatre asking him to read for the part of Rents in the third production of Trains-porting. He doesn't
Peter and Paul Ireland: blood brothers
get the part (boo!). He gets the part of Tommy instead (hurrahi). He tells his brother there are still parts to be filled. His brother gets the part of Rents (rejoicing in the streets!). Two lucky breaks with one stone. ‘I thought. Christmas is come.‘ says Paul.
‘We don‘t have to find the emotional content of the scenes Rents and Tommy play together.’ he continues. ‘They‘re so close and it’s already there for us because we‘ve grown up together.‘
And they all bonded happily ever after. But we can make up some drug stories and insert some extended gallus patter for that Irvine Welsh feel, ifyou like.
I Trainspotting (Fringe) Citizens’ Theatre. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. ll Aug—2 Sept (not 16 and 29 Aug). 8pm. £8.50/9.50 (£8.50/7.50).
‘The food in here’s terrible . . . and such small portions!’ runs the old joke and, in a music biz variation, success has been a tad unkind to Ohesney Hawkes. His briet encounter with celebrity - the hit ‘The One and Only’ from the tilm Buddy's Song starring Roger Oaltrey - lett an lndelible impression on the public’s consciousness that he was just another pretty-boy pop star. And then, as it that wasn’t enough, the threadbare rug oi stardom was pulled trom under him taster than you can say Debbie Gibson.
Having turned down several otters to appear In musicals, Hawkes has tinally
MacGregor’s Trap: the one and only Chesney
awkes tound one to suit his tastes. Maccregor’s Trap, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s tales oi Jacobite rebellion Kidnapped and Catriona, was written by Brian Spence, a former member of 703 band Bilbo Baggins who had their own brief moment as part of the Rollers-led boom in
Scottish pop. The musical stars Hawkes in the lead role of David Balfour, and has attracted interest from record companies and West End promoters.
However, don’t expect ‘The hills are alive with the sound oi muskets’. ‘It’s more along the lines ot Tommy [spot The Who connection], a kind of rock opera, which is more my thing,’ says Hawkes. ‘I’m a rock, guitar-based kind of guy. I’ve never really been into pop music and when you look back, ‘The One and Only ’ was a rock song.’
Hawkes tronts a rock band that gigs regularly around London, but isn’t a West End-bound musical an unlikely route tor Hawkes to reclaim his street cred? ‘I wouldn’t do it it it wasn’t any good,’ he replies. ‘It sounds unusual, but believe me it works . . . you’ve got to trust me on this one!’ (David Harris) Macliregor’s nap (Fringe) Apache Productions, Viewfortlr Benm (Venue gamma, 11 Aug—2 Sept, 8pm,
Alter macheting his way through the dense jungle oi handbills, posters and all manner of Festival bumph, Eddie Gibb brings word of the first week’s highlights.
I Harry Hill After last year's triumphant l’ul) lnternatiomtle. the comedian with the biggest brothel creepers in the business returns with a new show. If you thought a non- sequiteur was a gardening implement. this guy will bafﬂe you with his stream of sheer nonsense.
Harry Hill — Sav/on 2000 (Fringe) The Pleasanr'e (Venue 33 ) 556 6550. 11—28 Aug. 8.05pm. 258/7 (£7/6).
I Chekhov Anecdotes Retuming to Edinburgh as part of the Kiev Theatre package. the acclaimed Theatre on Podol. most notable for its Infirmary Street Baths production a couple of Festivals ago. performs a series of Chekhov short stories.
Chekhov Anecdotes (Fringe) Kiev Theatre, Moray House Union (Venue 168) 556 0102. 12—27 Aug, 8.35pm. £5 (£4).
I Lee and Herring’s Fist of Fun They‘ve become television stars since their last visit to Edinburgh. which means tickets are likely to be snapped u .
Lge and Herring 's Fist of Fun (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 20 Aug. 8.45pm. £8/7 (£776).
I Amine Hungarian dancer and choreographer Eve Magyar developed her style under Yvette Bozsik before forming her own company The Shamens which perfomied Tale to massive critical acclaim in Edinburgh last year ago.
Amine (Fringe) Demarco Foundation (Venue 22) 558 337/, 14—26 Aug (not 20). 9.30pm. £5 (£3.50).
I Best ot the Fest 1 This series of major-league comedy bills at The Playhouse kicks off with the sharp- suited and consistently excellent Jack Dee. with suppon acts Richard Morton, Rhona Cameron. The Two Marks and John Lenahan in attendance. Good value and proper seats too.
Best of the Fest 1 (Fringe) The Playhouse (Venue 59) 557 2590. 17—18 Aug, £12. £11.
The List 11-17 Aug 1995 47