Irvine Welsh is to host a huge warehouse party in his native Leith to launch the final instalment of his Trainspotting trilogy – in which one of his characters will be killed off.
The Leith-born author will join forces with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and arts collective Neu! Reekie! to take over a former Crawford’s biscuit factory for the 300-capacity event on March 24.
A host of special guests are expected to perform at the event, along with Leith-born Welsh, who will read excerpts from the novel, Dead Men’s Trousers, which will reunite Renton, Begbie, Spud and Sick Boy for a final escapade in their fifties.
Welsh, who has already hinted that the new book could form the basis for another film, will also be interviewed about the book, which will be published five days after the event.
The book, which will be launched at the Biscuit Factory, now an arts hub, will reunite Welsh’s famous characters in the months running up to his favourite football team, Hibs, ending their long Scottish Cup hoodoo. The story unfolds after a chance encounter between Renton, now an “international jet-setter” managing DJs and reinvented artist Begbie.
Welsh said: “The book will be the last time the four main characters are together. As they grow older it becomes unrealistic to see them having further significant adventures as a quartet. I’ve no doubt some might resurface in future books, but as a gang they’re sadly done.
“It’s great to basically end their adventures where they started off, right in Leith at the Biscuit Factory. It’s very close to my Auntie Betty’s old house where we would all assemble as kids before going to Easter Road for the football or the State Cinema for the matinees.
“So Leith, and specifically that part of it, plays a huge role in the formation of those characters who are now known all over the world. Without sounding like a nostalgic old radge, I’m delighted to be heading back, and I expect, nay crave, a wild night.”
Michael Pederson, co-founder of Neu! Reekie! with Kevin Williamson, who first published Welsh’s writing, said: “This is going to be the only Edinburgh launch for the new book and we’ve jumped through hoops to make sure it happens in Leith, rather than anywhere else in the city. It will hopefully drum it in that culture can exist in Edinburgh outside August on a big scale and it’s also important for shows like this to happen outwith the city centre.”
Roland Gulliver, associate director of the book festival, said “We’re delighted to be partnering with our good friends Neu! Reekie! to launch Dead Man’s Trousers, the latest instalment of the escapades of Edinburgh’s most infamous literary heroes.
“The festival is always exploring new venues and audiences and having begun the year marking the Muriel Spark centenary at the Usher Hall it’s only fitting we head to Leith’s atmospheric Biscuit Factory, to celebrate Irvine Welsh, a writer who has defined Edinburgh for a new generation of readers.”