Irvine Welsh set to turn Trainspotting into West End musical

The Scots author said he's working on plans to bring characters Renton, Sick Boy, and Begbie to life on the stage.

Irvine Welsh set to turn Trainspotting into West End musical Getty Images
The 1993 novel was adapted for the stage within nine months of its publication.

Author Irvine Welsh has revealed he is turning Trainspotting into a stage musical for the West End.

Welsh, 63, said he’s working on plans to bring characters Renton, Sick Boy, and Begbie to life on the stage.

The writer revealed he is working with Phil McIntyre, one of Britain’s leading entertainment producers, on the musical.

Welsh said he has created 14 new songs for the show and hopes it will go straight onto the West End.

The 1993 novel was adapted for the stage within nine months of its publication.

Harry Gibson’s production for the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, originally starred Ewen Bremner in the lead role of Renton.

After being overlooked for the part in Danny Boyle’s film in favour of Ewan McGregor, Bremner took on the role of Spud.

A new version of Gibson’s production was launched in 2017 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it was performed in a tunnel beneath the EICC.

Welsh said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

Welsh also revealed Edinburgh author Jenni Fagan is working on the adaptation of his novel The Blade artist into a TV series, which will see Robert Carlyle reprise Begbie.

He said: “We’ve had masses of people expressing an interest in it.

“We want to take the heat off it for a bit now and just get working on developing the scripts.

“Jenni is such a brilliant writer and will do a fabulous job.

“I didn’t want do to it myself because it’s too recent a book for me.

“I want to be excited by it again.

”I think Jenni will give it something else and another twist that will make it more interesting.”