Production Company: UK’s Gizmo Films, GSP Studios & Bad Penny Productions
Writer: Robert Mullen
Executive Producers: Peter Gerard Dunphy & Phin Glynn
Producers: Charlotte Arden & Harriett Hammond
Director: Robert Mullen
Director of Photography: Ali Asad
David Tennant has the lead role in Gimzo Films’ 2016 production Mad to be Normal(formerly called Metanoia). Written by Robert Mullan, the biopic focuses on psychiatrist Robert David “R.D.” Laing, “Acid Marxist” of the 1960s and ’70s. He took LSD, appeared with rock bands and established started a psychiatric community project at Kingsley Hall, where the divide between patients and psychiatrists was dropped and the two groups lived together.
David Tennant on the role – “ I have long been fascinated by the life and work of RD Laing. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and discover this important man and I am honoured and thrilled to be involved in telling this story. Robert Mullan’s passion for the subject is inspiring and the presence of the brilliant Elisabeth Moss makes this something I cannot wait to start work on.”
Robert Mullan, who has also written many books on the controversial figure, discusses Liang’s checked past: “In the late 1960s, and throughout the 1970s, R.D. Laing was seen as the ‘high priest of anti-psychiatry’ and the so-called ‘Acid Marxist’ – lauded by his supporters for his daring and experimental work with disturbed people. In truth, Laing simply tried harder than other psychiatrists to sympathetically understand the cracked minds of the people who came to see him. He gave them time and tried to see the world from their point of view. His books sold all over the world and his reputation was global”.
The movie began filming 1st February 2016 in and around Yorkshire including York University and at Scampston Hall.
Mad To be Normal received its world premiere at the 2017 Glasgow Film Festival on February 26th followed by a general cinema release in the UK on April 6th.