Welsh catches up with the women of 'Trainspotting'

It is more than a decade since Irvine Welsh's debut novel, about a gang of young men who take heroin to escape the banality of modern life, enthralled a generation of disaffected youth.

Now the Scottish writer, still best known for the seminal work Trainspotting, has turned his attention to the women involved in the drug and club scene of the 1990s, who hovered in the margins of his first novel.

Wedding Belles, Welsh's first script for Channel 4, is set on the same murky Edinburgh housing estates as Trainspotting, and is Welsh's first major work to feature women. The plot follows them during a raucous hen weekend, tracing their different journeys since the hedonistic days of the early Nineties.

Dean Cavanagh, Welsh's long-time collaborator who co-wrote the screenplay, said that the idea evolved out of a conversation he and Welsh had about the original book.

"Irvine and I were talking about the female characters in Trainspotting. We've already had Porno, the book that catches up with what happened to the guys 10 years later, but we haven't had the same for the girls. In the post-drugs culture, many of the people who were caning it in the late Eighties and early Nineties have since got on with life and settled down. The women have had to make big choices, and not just what drug they are going to take, but whether they want children, whether they marry or buy a house," he said.

Welsh and Cavanagh interviewed a host of men and women from Leith, and found while many of the "post-drugs culture" men had moved on to Amsterdam and Spain, the women had largely stayed in Edinburgh.

"The film shows a Leith and an Edinburgh that has changed over the past decade, it's become yuppified, although it's still got aspects of the Leith in Trainspotting," he said.

The new film follows four best friends as they prepare for a wedding, with plotlines delving into some of the characters' drug dependencies, criminality and other dark secrets.

Amanda, played by the Green Wing actor Michelle Gomez, is a successful businesswoman. Her friend Rhona (Shauna Macdonald) is a former fashion model who turns to drugs after the death of her fiance. Shirley Henderson plays Kelly, a minor character in Trainspotting, now a woman battling with her demons and upsetting all around her. And then there's Shaz, who sells Viagra to the residents of the old people's home where she works.

Andrew Newman, head of entertainment and comedy at Channel 4, said: "Welsh is one of the genuine auteurs of the past decade or so. The play is edgy, funny, dramatic and intelligent."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Database Executive - Leading Events Marketing Company - London

£23000 - £25000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Databas...

Recruitment Genius: Publishing Assistant

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Digital Account Exec ...

Guru Careers: Print Project Manager

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A Print Project Manager is needed to join one...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk