You are here : Home -> Shows -> The Divided Laing

The Divided Laing

Written by Patrick Marmion
Directed by Michael Kingsbury

17 Nov 2015 to 12 Dec 2015
Arcola Theatre, London

production image

"An engrossing drama about batshit mental '60s psychiatrist RD Laing"
     Alice Saville, Time Out
Cabinet of Cynics and Stepping Out Theatre present 'The Divided Laing' by Patrick Marmion.
'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.

Watch the trailer . .

Show photos


Alan Cox
Amiera Darwish
Laura-Kate Gordon
Kevin McMonagle
Oscar Pearce
James Russell


Director - Michael Kingsbury
Designer - Nicolai Hart-Hansen
Photography - Adam Bennett


"A deeply thought-provoking and funny play . . fast-paced throughout . . Alan Cox is a delight"
     Dan English,

"An engrossing drama about batshit mental '60s psychiatrist RD Laing . . Fascinating . . a tense, blackly comic portrait of a community defined by barely-controlled chaos"
     Alice Saville, Time Out

"Michael Kingsbury's vigorous production . . A warm tribute to a now under-rated thinker and an evening of fun and insights."
 Aleks Sierz,

""Commendably ambitious . . Alan Cox captures all of Laing's complex charisma . . Michael Kingsbury's production does full justice""
 Michael Billington, The Guardian

"Highly watchable . . Kevin McMonagle is an absolute knockout in a variety of roles . . At times, the piece recalls Joe Orton"
 Alun Hood,

"An enjoyably curious and carefree portrait of a conflicted individual and a maverick psychiatrist . . Marmion's writing fizzes with intelligence"
 Fergus Morgan, West End Frame

"A theatrical fantasia . . thought-provoking fun in Michael Kingsbury's ebullient production."
 Claire Allfree, Daily Telegraph

"It's laugh several times a minute . . Marmion's good ear for a comic cadence is perfectly shared by the play's brilliant cast"
 Benjamin Mortimer, East End Review

"An imaginative celebration of 1960s anti-psychiatry guru RD Laing that is both fun and thought-provoking"
 The Stage

"Always just on the edge of the surreal. Perhaps that's why it is so funny . . Marmion writes with exuberance and wit."
 Howard Loxton. British Theatre Guide

"A characteristically dedicated performance from the excellent Alan Cox"
 Financial Times

"Alan Cox brings louche charisma to his portrayal of Ronnie"
 The Times

"An accomplished piece which anyone with an interest in psychology or mental health would enjoy."
 The Psychologist


Stepping Out Theatre
13 Creedwell Orchard
Taunton TA4 1JY

Registered Charity (CIO) 1179310 (since July 2018), Formerly Charity 1117912 (since February 2007)

m. 07790 980688

Current Sponsors

Sponsor Image
Sponsor Image
Sponsor Image
Sponsor Image
Sponsor Image
Sponsor Image
Sponsor Image
Sponsor Image
Sponsor Image