Scots author Irvine Welsh has confirmed he is currently working on a stage musical adaptation of his book Trainspotting.

The Edinburgh-born novelist is widely known for the story of Begbie, Renton, Spud, Tommy and Sick Boy, however, the film will now be followed up by a new musical project.

Welsh has now revealed he is collaborating with songwriting partner Steve McGuinness and producer Phil McIntyre on a musical version for the West End, which will span a variety of genres including techno, urban house and disco.

Speaking to Scottish rag The Daily Record, 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.”

Alongside the musical, a TV adaptation of Welsh’s The Blade Artist is also in the works, with Robert Carlyle due to reprise his role as Begbie. In a recent interview, Carlyle said:

“Irvine [Welsh] and myself have been chatting quite a lot recently with a couple of excellent producers in London about [continuing the Trainspotting story],”

“As you know there was another book called The Blade Artist which is just entirely about Begbie and his mad story. It’s still in its early moments but it’s looking pretty good that this will happen eventually.”

The Trainspotting statement came as Welsh is due to launch his latest work for TV, Crime, a drama focussed around a number of corrupt police officers and detectives involved in a paedophile ring.

Due to begin streaming on BritBox from next week, Welsh explained that he had once again used characters that were each troubled in their own way. Speaking about Crime, Welsh said:

“I wanted them all to be total fucking jakeys and have massive psychological problems.

“It’s not the good guys trying to catch the bad guys. It’s fucked up guys trying to catch more fucked up guys.

“I’ve seen nothing like this ever on British television. It is a game-changer.”


Irvine Welsh’s Crime premieres on November 18th on BritBox.

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