New York | 1h 15m | Already closed

Trainspotting Live

From 9 critic and 215 member reviews
Members say: Edgy, Intense, Great acting, Raunchy, Absorbing

About the show

This punchy, 75 minute production strives to recapture the passion and the controversy of the famous novel, then globally successful film, and repackage it into an immersive production. More…

'Trainspotting Live' tells the story of Mark Renton and his friends, living through the Edinburgh heroin scene of the 80s. For this 21st anniversary production, In Your Face Theatre’s Scottish cast have created a snappy and vibrant affirmation of the power and humor of the piece. 'Trainspotting' was published in 1993 and adapted into a critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated film by Danny Boyle in 1996.

'Trainspotting Live' features adult content and is only appropriate for ages 16 and up.

1h 15m | Already closed | Roy Arias 777 Theatre (Midtown W)

Talkin' Broadway

“Spreadbury-Maher and Greg Esplin...transform the nightmare into a dream machine...The ensemble all do an impressive job...The sense of inescapability makes ‘Trainspotting Live’ one of the most powerful theatrical experiences in the city...I can't think of a better metaphor for addiction than the feelings brought on by this play...The human condition is rarely as exposed and memorable as it is in this show.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“For lovers of innovative and compelling theatre told by a vibrant team of artists, the best trip in the city right now is 'Trainspotting Live'...Turns what might normally be a passive viewing experience into something that feels more holistic and all-encompassing...The success of this emotional journey...speaks to the high level of excellence presented by every member of this creative team...This production grips you from the second you enter and never lets go.” Full Review

The Wrap

"Outrageously funny and extremely immersive...'Trainspotting' in the theater is a little like attending an AA meeting, wherein the first half of an addict/alcoholic’s public confession is laced with hysterically rousing anecdotes of insobriety, followed by that big uh-oh moment when everything unravels tragically. On stage, Adam Spreadbury-Maher’s direction makes this difficult transition with unusual ease, in part because the lead performances take a naturalistic turn." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

“The book’s scatological humour explodes all over the place...In the confines of this graffiti-strewn, strobe-lit black-box space, there is no escape. And the squalor and misery of Welsh’s overlapping stories seem viscerally real...For all its excremental antics and foul language, the play...ends up being an old-fashioned story of sin and redemption. That might not be a total delusion, but it does seem a little sentimental. Then again, even the best trip has its downside.” Full Review

Reviews Off Broadway

“'Trainspotting Live' is crazy fun entertainment. I love the immersiveness of a show like 'Sleep No More,' but 'Trainspotting Live' takes it up a few notches as the actors acknowledge and revel in the audience, blithely taking us on a youthful, embarrassing and exhilarating trip most of us have long since outgrown." Full Review


"The characters shoot up, get in fights, and fling mysterious substances at the audience. We laugh and cringe at their antics as the performers shove their characters' dysfunction in our faces...To what end? And that's where my admiration for 'Trainspotting' runs out. The sensationalism seems to be the point, rather than the hook through which we can understand an opioid epidemic that is presently devastating communities across the globe." Full Review

The New York Times

"I missed the elements that make Boyle’s original film such an achievement: the nuanced humanity amid the ugly, brutal mayhem...The directors here go doggedly in pursuit of fun, and the result is way off-kilter. The actors are likable...The humor works. But we don’t get much sense of the characters as people...Neither does any sense of seamy tragedy...We’re cut off from the emotion of it...Without that dimension, the show is drained of all impact as it darkens toward the end." Full Review


"From the moment you enter the rectangular, bisected room (chock full of haze, strobe lights and insanely loud music) to the play's final moments, the material has been given a presentation that is a bit too focused on making its audience deliberately uncomfortable. Not only is there a lot of almost inescapable audience participation, but I kept feeling that too many people watching the show were far too worried if they were going to become part of the show to fully focus on it." Full Review

Time Out New York

"The audience has the option to imbibe during the show; it definitely helps to be relaxed, since chances are good that you will be sat on, pulled onstage or spattered with bodily fluids (fake ones, I hope)...The sheer outrageousness of the crew’s escapades will probably get you laughing, or screaming, at some point before the show is over, but is anyone really jonesing to see Renton’s shit-stained ass up close? Board this train at your own risk—and bring towels." Full Review

Dizzying, Intense, Raunchy, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if you love the book and/or the movie, love immersive theatre and being right up close and personal with the actors and the action.

Don't see it if you're a wanker. No, but seriously if you don't like gross humor and/or VERY immersive theatre.

Refreshing, Relevant, Intense, Epic, Edgy

See it if You like immersive shows about relevant topics that don’t hold back and are more of an experience then something you just watch.

Don't see it if Any of the warnings make you uncomfortable or you like boundaries and prefer to not be a part of the show as an audience member.

Riveting, Raunchy, Intense, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy immersive theatre that is very intense but also incredibly well done. Also if you enjoy the movie, this play is also for you.

Don't see it if You are triggered by hardcore drug use, swearing, death, needles, poop, nudity, or things being thrown in an intimate space.

Also I really enjoyed this show. Theatre these days is too safe and tame, T... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Must see

See it if You are a fan of the film or novel. Or if you enjoy cutting edge, experimental theater. Great performances from a talented ensemble!

Don't see it if You are closed minded, have a weak tolerance for poop, or if you are offended by the C word.

Entertaining, Intense, Must see, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if A show so good you feel like you got slapped & if you're in the front row that could happen. Lauren Downie, the whole cast is amazing.

Don't see it if if you can't handle audience interaction and are offended easily...Then this isn't for you.

Great acting, Raunchy, Great staging, Hilarious

See it if You want to be amazed by great acting, and the most interactive play ever. From the moment you walk in till the last line, you are IN IT!!!

Don't see it if You are offended by language and don’t like interaction.

Great acting, Raunchy, Intense, Hilarious, Immersive af!

See it if you like potentially being part of the action and you're not squeamish, because this is very "in your face"-style theatre that gets extreme.

Don't see it if you are easily grossed out or made uncomfortable by depictions of dirty toilets, soiled sheets, drug use and full frontal nudity.

Also While the description sounds unpleasant, this is very compelling theat... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Excruciating, Must see, Riveting

See it if You are prepared for something you’ve never experienced before. If you are ready for boundries you had no clue that you had to be broken.

Don't see it if You’re sensitive. You have heavy triggers. If you have a problem with heavy audience interaction. But there is no audience participation!

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Refreshing, Intense

See it if you are a fan of the book, the movie and anything Scottish. It is a little bit different from the film, but you won't be disappointed!

Don't see it if you don't want to interact with the actors or do not care about/ like Trainspotting the story, or you just want something posh and decent

Also This is much, much more fun than I expected! Really immersive- the act... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Hilarious, Profound

See it if If you seen the movie and read the book then you are in for a treat. But, even if you have not the acting is superb and the play is a hoot!

Don't see it if you do not like immersive plays or are shy about being part of the show.

Edgy, Intelligent, Intense, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if you enjoy shows that are real and raw, close to what people surrounding you might be going through or empathize with others. Very real!

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable seeing nudity, discussing hard topics or opening your mind to people going through various hard life-problems.

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Dizzying, Edgy

See it if Definitely see this if you loved the movie! Great acting; Horrifyingly delightful (go figure! hahaha). Go with fun friends! Have a drink!

Don't see it if Don't see this if you're close minded and easily offended. (Not your traditional theatre experience....and that's a GOOD thing!).

Also I really loved the original movie, so was really interested to see how... Read more Read less

Brilliant ensemble, Edgy, Riveting, Great staging, Must see

See it if you're a fan of the film & the writing of Irvine Welsh. Andrew Barrett is a one-man phenomenon. The play can be considered shocking at times

Don't see it if you need to comprehend every word. The Scottish accents are heavy, but the rhythms of the writing will carry you through. Nudity & wit.

Intense, Raunchy, Edgy, Entertaining, Dizzying

See it if You liked the movie. If you like immersive theatre-this is very good. INTENSE and may make you feel off center. Believe posted warnings!!!

Don't see it if You are offended by anything because they go EVERYWHERE! It’s loud...very loud and crude and rude and disgusting and I loved it.

Also Just saw it for the second time and I’ve adjusted my score up a couple... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Shocking, Intense, Relevant, Must see

See it if want to see an incredibly talented ensemble of actors. can take brutal, in-your face depictions of what it means to be a heroin addict.

Don't see it if you can't take theater that is viceral, in your face, and can literally involve you!

Also This was one of the most memorable nights of theater I have had. The a... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Indulgent, Intense, Entertaining

See it if you want to be fully steeped in a loud, aggressive, shocking, and hilarious exploration of the Scottish underground scene.

Don't see it if strobe lighting has an adverse effect on you, you dislike nudity, overt sexual aggression, violence, drug use, language, and poop.

Also This immersive adaptation of Trainspotting is incredibly effective. It... Read more Read less

Edgy, Great staging, Raunchy, Riveting, Intense

See it if you're up for an in-your-face, overwhelming whirlwind of debauchery that leaves you feeling part of a mess. Skillfully every kind of vulgar.

Don't see it if you don't want to see nudity, be splattered with fake body fluids, don't want to be involved in the action, or can't handle thick accents.

Confusing, Dizzying, Hilarious, Raunchy, Shocking

See it if you want a fun night out

Don't see it if you get offended easily

Interactive theatre at its best. not for the faint hearted

See it if Great example of excellent (but perverse) interactive theatre. The shock value is the point. Cast & direction excellent

Don't see it if You are squeamish or at the least bit offended by profanity, drug use, nudity, sex, But the shock value is the point and it is so well done

Also Don't sit near the toilet. The shock value is the thing and many have ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Resonant, Hilarious

See it if You enjoy immersive theater, aren't squeamish, and want to have a good time despite the depressing nature of addiction.

Don't see it if You can't handle dark themes, nudity, and the representation of body fluids. Not for the squeamish.

Also I've seen this a handful of times and enjoy it every time. I found the... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if You are open to immersive theater - direct eye contact, no 4th wall, you might get wet.

Don't see it if You're squeamish about seeing a play that contains R rated content.

Also Lead performance by Andrew Barrett is engaging. ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Raunchy, Quirky, Intense

See it if You have enjoyed the book and/or movie and interested in seeing it re-imagined for “stage”. I enjoyed it. Performers were entertaining!!!

Don't see it if If you did not enjoy movie and/or book. If topics of drug use, violence and death aren’t your thing. Actors do interact with the audience.

Also I won’t give it away but there are parts in the show involve nudity, b... Read more Read less

Clever, Edgy, Fantastic, Provocative, Intense

See it if You want a great theater experiance.True to the movie,Central actors inhabit the characters with intensity,vulnerability & heart.

Don't see it if If nudity profanity & audience participation is not for you.

Great acting, Edgy, Raunchy, Daring, Intense

See it if You like the movie or book, are into cult shows or obscure, raw emotional genres; if you like immersive theatre

Don't see it if You are easily offended. Pay attention to the warnings before the show. Ok to see if you do to know the book or film, but some of the story

Intense, Absorbing, Edgy, Raunchy, Great staging

See it if you're a fan of the book or the movie, or like your theatre live, active, and for YOU, not a fourth wall or the blankness of the audience.

Don't see it if you're squeamish or prudish. Plenty of nudity, drug use, and all that fun stuff. If you prefer your theatre non-interactive.

Cast & Creatives (15)