ADAM Robertson spoke with Trainspotting Live star Greg Esplin about the 10 things that changed his life. 

1. Trainspotting experience

There was a woman that came to see the show and after it finished she didn’t leave the audience, she was crying and we went over to her. I remember she told us: “Every mammy in the world needs to see this show, every f*****g mammy needs to see it.”

She told us how her son was an addict and trying to get through recovery. That was in 2014 and it felt like a bigger review than any other newspaper. It’s just stuck in my head and reminded me why we keep doing the show.

I was producing it myself by that point and I was only 21. I was wondering how to get it out of Scotland but we ended up getting a London producer on board. In my head, I thought maybe this will be it after 2014 but when that happened, I actively started looking for people to get involved because we needed to keep doing it.

2. The Lord of the Rings – special features

I remember when the DVD’s came out. I must have been about 12 and I consumed them but it was the special features that stuck out.

READ MORE: Lynn Ferguson: 10 things that changed my life

I watched this team have an amazing experience creating an amazing piece of art from the props guys to the actors to the cameramen to the runners. It just looked insane. I didn’t really know the word ensemble but this just made me realise this could be a job.

You could get a creative group of people together to make that. It wasn’t so much a solo person, even though Ian McKellen is an absolute legend.

3. My drama teacher

Mr Derek Easton. He’s a person that pushed me. I went to a school where it was very much “guys don’t do drama”. We had to do it the first year or two and then you picked your subjects.

When that came round, I really wanted to do drama and I just didn’t and, when it came to Higher level, Mr Easton actually lived on my estate and we got chatting. I didn’t know, I was thinking maybe I will, maybe I won’t.

I did it and everyone at school was like, “Oh it’s just Greg and a bunch of girls”, but Mr Easton was great, he kept me in and was really supportive. He basically said, excuse the French, “f*** them, in 10 years-time you’ll be glad you done this".

He guided me into an acting college, getting into university and we still talk. He lives five minutes around the corner from my mum and dad.

4. Going on tour

I have a bit of a love-hate one with the Fringe because of what it’s become. It’s not as affordable for working-class people. I get asked a lot why it’s the best in the world but I’m not sure I’m the best person to explain because I’m lucky I have a show that sells now.

I don’t want to tell other artists or working-class people to spend money when I know how hard it can be.

Putting my first show on 10 years ago though was a great opportunity. It felt like you could put a show on but even if you were losing money it wasn’t as much as it is now because of the cost of accommodation.

It was pivotal though but I don’t recognise it as much compared to what it used to be. But I loved when we toured Trainspotting Live (below) around Falkirk, Preston, Lancashire, Sheffield.

The National:

All these towns and cities where the big shows don’t go. It would maybe be the first time at the theatre for a lot of people. The regional tours were really important to me.

I think we can be guilty of thinking if it’s not at London or the Fringe it’s not worth seeing but if you can take good work to these regional cities and towns then that’s great.

5. Black Watch

The National Theatre did a production of Black Watch. I remember seeing that. It might have been a school trip and that was a moment in my head of thinking this is what theatre can do and make you feel like.

I think in my head theatre was just posh voices but to see a real moving Scottish play selling out was incredible.

It was the first thing I seen that made me think I want to do this.

6. Growing up in Scotland

We are self-proclaimed underdogs a lot of the time whether it’s in sport or something else so it gives you that mentality. I feel like sometimes you think you have to make your voice a bit louder and try a bit harder.

It’s a tough one because there is some amazing Scottish theatre out there but it can be hard to break into. It’s a bit of a catch-22 and if you want to cement yourself as a name, people want to keep working with you and it might be difficult for new voices to get in.

I think as a country we are very good at telling stories, even if it’s your gran telling you a story. Your imagination is always going.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Fringe: Colin Cloud on the 10 things that changed his life

But I left Scotland at 21 because we started touring, I was in New York for a year and then London.

7. Music

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for folk and country music. Even when Paolo Nutini’s (below) first album, it was a modern take on folk. People like Bruce Springsteen, an Irish guy called Foy Vance.

I wake up and put music on. I go for a shower and put it on. If I go for a walk then I put my headphones in. But it inspires me to think about productions and plays and I think it’s been a huge one.

The National:

For Trainspotting, every scene has a song or a score to it because I genuinely think it helps emote something or drive the story in some way and it’s just in the background. It’s one of those things that can transport you back.

Our show starts with all 90s rave songs so when the audience come in, especially those from that era, you can see them recognising the songs.

8. Stenhousemuir FC

For what we lack on the pitch, we won an award for being one of the best community clubs in Scotland and I love that. I used to go to all the games home and away.

The stories people would tell, just these ridiculous things. You had all the old guys in the pub and on the terraces. It shaped me for a long time, getting six-hour buses with 10 fans to watch a 0-0 draw in the rain.

9. David Jason

His autobiography is amazing. He just kept going and kept going, he was cleaning windows and is such an incredible actor. People just think of Only Fools and Horses but he was amazing as Frost and on stage.

For me, he’s a good inspiration for actors and a good reminder to just keep going and that what’s meant for you won’t go past you.

The National:

He almost got a part in Dad’s Army and lost out at the last minute but because he didn’t get that he got the part of Del Boy.

10. My college audition

When I went to audition to study acting, I got there on the last day and there was only one place left for the year. There was about 30 or 40 of us there and in my head I’d decided if I don’t get this I won’t pursue it.

Ironically, I went in and did a Trainspotting monologue. I got the last place on that course for the year and if I hadn’t done that this play wouldn’t exist. I’d been offered a job at an insurance company which I just didn’t want to do.

I was taking it for the money and then would maybe have ended up doing geography or something. It was huge for me.

Trainspotting Live is playing at the Pleasance until August 27 (not 21) and more information is available HERE