Theater

All Aboard

It was a book and a play before it was a film, but, as ever, folks will still want Trainspotting, the play, to mirror the movie. It doesn't. Here's how.

Character: Spud, the beloved spaz
Fate in book and movie: Goofy speed fanatic who hates working.
Fate in play: Nonexistence. Poor Spud gets morphed into Mark, who gets his monologues, and Tommy, who gets aspects of his personality.

Character: Mark Renton, our hero
Fate in book and movie: Disses his druggie past and finds wildly happy ending.
Fate in play: Without giving away the wind-up, a not-so-happy ending.

Character: Begbie, drunken psychopath
In the movie: A walking, talking commercial for testosterone and two-dimensional violence who loves to make people bleed.
In the play: A still-violent and misogynistic asshole, but with a soft spot.

Character: Diane, the underage club kid
In the movie: Dishonest. Tells Mark she's underage after he has sex with her.
In the play: Obsolete. Replaced by two other girls, neither of whom tricks anyone into a horizontal bop.

Drugs of Choice
In the movie: Heroin, period.
In the book and the play: Ecstasy. Heroin. Everything in between.

The Final Word
The movie: "Being a junkie is fun!"
The book: Nails the misery of the druggie scene.
The play: Somewhere in between.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela