The play is concerned with Lloyd and Heather's quest for love in the Ecstasy-drenched nightclubs of Edinburgh's early nineties. Both of them have demons to slay, as well as pills to be necked. But the nature of chemical romance means we don't always know how much is chemical and how much is romance. Will our hero and heroine transcend both Scottish stoicism and MDMA extravagance, to tap into the emotional depths of their souls? Or is it just about shagging and having a good time?
The play was first perfomed in August of 1998 at the Fringe Festival in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Ecstasy Tour 1999 performed at the Rev in Edmonton, the Republik in Calgary and the System Soundbar in Toronto. Raven Productions then returned it to its Edinburgh roots, performing at the Venue in September 2000 for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with a largely Scottish cast.
Adapted for stage by Keith Wyatt, based on the story 'The Undefeated' from the trilogy of stories Ecstasy, by Irvine Welsh.
Original Edmonton cast:
Bartender-Jordan Stewart/Jay Hanley
Visuals by Ryu Toto
Sound production and spinning by Cory Payne
Direction and dramaturgy by Sandra Nicholls
Produced by Raven Productions and Oliver Friedmann from the Rev
She misses period aw the times and goes through this 'Ah'm up the stick' shite. Ah felt like sayin tae her: ye cannae get up the stick when he's shagging ye up the arse, but ah didnae. Ah felt like sayin tae her: the reason that you miss periods is because you're fucked up in the heid, hen. Your life's a mess and if you're that fucked up in the heid it's bound tae tell on yir body. But ah bit ma tongue. -Veronica aka The Poisonous Cunt.
I remember going along here with my pal Debs from Dagenham and my poet pal, Paul Reekie. I had pretty low expectations due to the book not working properly for me. I soon realised why. It needed music. It needed to be on the stage or the screen. You simply couldn't get what I was looking for on the page. So we were in the nightclub and the sound kicked up and the performers came on and just blew me away. That great Edinburgh actor Sean Hay was in the cast, with a mixture of Scots and Canadians. I recall Reekie standing up on the chair, his eyes bulging out as he leered at the lyrca-clad actresses. Then I realised that he's like that all the time in clubs, but we're just too wasted to notice. We had a great night out with the Canadians and took them down to Easter Road for the Hibs-St.Mirren match the next day.
A big thanks to Keith Wyatt and his team for bringing the book alive and making it work the way i'd intended. Through the Canadian connection I met Rob Heydon, who is now turning Ecstasy into a film.