David Tennant will bring the curtain down on this year’s Glasgow film festival with the world premiere of his latest movie about a pioneering psychiatrist from Govanhill.
The former Doctor Who takes on the lead role alongside Michael Gambon, Elisabeth Moss and Gabriel Byrne. Mad to Be Normal is about the life of RD Laing, who was seen as a radical when he set up a medication-free community for psychiatric patients in London in the 1960s.
Tennant will attend the closing gala at the Glasgow film theatre on 26 February with director Robert Mullan and actors David Bamber, Olivia Poulet and Adam Paul Harvey.
GFF co-director Allison Gardner said: “David Tennant gives an absolutely stunning performance as RD Laing in Mad to Be Normal, and it seems only fitting that Glasgow should have the honour of hosting the premiere of a film about one of the city’s most complex, charismatic figures.”
Mad to Be Normal
Audience seated: 19:15
Film starts: 19:30
Glasgow Film Theatre
12 Rose Street
There was no more charismatic or controversial a figure during the swinging ’60s than Scottish psychiatrist R D Laing. Dubbed “the white Martin Luther King” and the “high priest of anti-psychiatry”, Laing was as famous as Dylan. In 1965, he established Kingsley Hall in East London as a medication-free community for those seriously affected by schizophrenia.
His methods, which involved experimenting with LSD on his patients and practicing a form of self-healing known as metanoia, flew in the face of a medical establishment that considered Laing a dangerous radical.
Mad To Be Normal offers a powerful account of Laing’s Kingsley Hall experiment with a stunning performance from David Tennant that truly gets under the skin of an utterly compelling figure.
Tennant’s nuanced, complex work conveys a sense of Laing’s immense personal charm and the combination of intelligence and arrogance that made him equally revered and reviled.
The film also captures the darker side of a mercurial man who rarely made it easy for those who dared to get close to him, especially his lover Angie (Elisabeth Moss). A magnificent ensemble cast includes heartrending performances from Michael Gambon and Gabriel Byrne.