The Divided Laing

21 November 2021


Venue: Arcola Theatre 24 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL

Organiser: A Play by Patrick Marmion, directed by Michael Kingsbury

Patrick Marmion's previous plays include The Institute (Etcetera), Pieta - After Chekhov (Finborough & Print Room) and Terms & Conditions (White Bear). Screenplays include Mushroom Soup (Sam Mendes/Renaissance Films), Kids FM (Working Title Television), Maid Marion (Channel Four Films), The Dead Guy and Archie Tanner & The Dodo (Children’s Film & Television Foundation). Michael Kingsbury’s directing credits includes In Lambeth by the Olivier Award-winning Jack Shepherd at the Southwark Playhouse; the critically-acclaimed Ying Tong by Roy Smiles, which opened at the West Yorkshire Playhouse before transferring to the Ambassadors; This Other Eden by Jonathon Moore at the Soho Theatre (runner up in the Verity Bargate Awards); The Caretaker and Bloody Poetry.

‘Some people are lucky: they get through life thinking the ground beneath them is solid…’

London, 1970. Experimental psychiatrist R.D. Laing is facing eviction from his pioneering asylum in the East End’s Kingsley Hall. Local residents are up in arms – and to make matters worse, Ronnie’s revolutionary colleague David Cooper is flipping out on the roof…

With his personal life going down the pan and his mental state heading the same way, Ronnie takes an acid trip to the future. His mission is to save his therapeutic collective The Philadelphia Association, and secure his professional legacy. Will it be a one-way ticket to madness – or can breakdown sometimes mean breakthrough?

Alan Cox plays Ronnie Laing in this provocative, freewheeling comedy by the acclaimed playwright and journalist Patrick Marmion.

Michael Kingsbury (In Lambeth, Ying Tong) directs the world premiere production on the 50th anniversary of The Philadelphia Association and of Laing’s experimental asylum at Kingsley Hall in Bromley-by-Bow.

Why not make an afternoon of it? Dr Adrian Chapman, who has written extensively on the life and work of R.D. Laing, will lead a discussion based event prior to this performace at 12.30pm. Book your place here (add link to Adrian’s event above)