David Tennant will be in Glasgow for Mad To Be Normal premiere

'Mad To Be Normal' starring David Tennant as RDE Laing
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'Mad To Be Normal' starring David Tennant as RDE Laing .

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He became a household name starring as the time-travelling Doctor in the long-running BBC science fiction series.

And now David Tennant will take to the red carpet in Glasgow for the world premiere of his portrayal of a controversial psychiatrist born in the city.

The Scot is the star of Mad To Be Normal, a biopic of RD Laing, a leading figure in the “anti-asylum” movement in the 1960s and 1970s whose unconventional methods were condemned by his peers. The film will close the Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) next month.

Tennant, born in Bathgate but brought up in Paisley, has been confirmed to attend the gala screening, his first appearance at the film festival for five years since he unveiled the romantic comedy The Decoy Bride.

Michael Gambon, Gabriel Byrne and Mad Men star Elizabeth Moss appear alongside Tennant – who played the 10th incarnation of the renegade Time Lord in Doctor Who – in the new film.

It will recall Laing’s efforts to create a safe haven in London’s East End for people who had been diagnosed with psychosis and schizophrenia.

The film explores how his “methods and theories flew in the face of a medical establishment who considered Laing a dangerous radical.”

Tennant said: “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.”

Director Robert Mullan said: “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.”

Allison Gardner, co-director of the film festival, 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.”

Frank McAveety, chairman of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “The GFF is a highlight on the city’s cultural calendar.

“It’s particularly great to see that a famous Glaswegian will be depicted on screen for this year’s closing gala.”

The festival, which will close with Mad To Be Normal on 26 February, will open with new 
Irish coming-of-age 
drama Handsome Devil about the unlikely friendship between a music-obsessed outcast at a boarding school and his room-mate.

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