David Tennant to star as 'acid Marxist' RD Laing in new film

Laing was infamous for his support of the medical use of LSD

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Broadchurch star David Tennant is set to play controversial psychiatrist RD Laing in a new film about 1960s residential treatment centre Kingsley Hall.

'Metanoia' will chronicle Laing’s work at his site on Powis Road in London’s East End, where he attempted to create a safe haven for people diagnoses with schizophrenia and psychosis.

Ronald David Laing was infamous for his support of the medical use of LSD, which was still legal at the time the centre was opened.

Writer-director Robert Mullan, the author of three books about Laing, told Screen: "In the late 1960s, and throughout the 70s, RD Laing was seen as the high priest of anti-psychiatry and the so-called 'acid Marxist' – lauded by 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."


Tennant will act opposite Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss, and told Screen that he had "long been fascinated by the life and work" of the Scottish psychiatrist.

"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,” he said.

"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."

Mullan hopes to shoot Metanoia in the first quarter of 2016 in Cologne, and on location in London.

The project is being presented to investors at Cannes film festival this week.