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York campus features on silver screen in new Tennant film

Posted on 7 April 2017

A major film starring David Tennant and Elisabeth Moss – filmed at various locations across the University of York – is released in cinemas this weekend.

Mad To Be Normal is the story of controversial Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing and the infamous anti-psychiatry experiment he ran at Kingsley Hall, London - a medication-free sanctuary which made headlines around the world.

Nearly 100 staff and students were cast as extras in the film, wearing 1960’s costume, with shots taking place outside Heslington Hall and inside the lecture theatre in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television.

Several students from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television also worked alongside the film crew as runners, in the wardrobe department, and in technical production as part of a green screen shoot in one of the Department’s TV studios.

Alice Mannix, Content and Communications Manager at York who starred as an extra in the film, said: “It was great to see everyone in their retro costumes, including David Tennant’s fetching velvet suit. There was a real buzz as we all filed into the Theatre, Film and Television lecture theatre to watch his spellbinding monologue, and I got the feeling I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have to act when we were asked to respond with rapturous applause.

“Despite the 8.00am start, it was a really fun day and I can’t wait to see the University on the big screen!”

The film is released this month at over 30 cinemas across the UK. A screening will take place at City Screen, York, on Sunday 9 April at 8.00pm. To book tickets, visit:

Further information:

  • In Mad To Be Normal, David Tennant plays R.D. Laing, with Elisabeth Moss cast as love interest Angie Wood. During the 1960s and 1970s Laing was an international celebrity. In Santa Monica, 4,000 people once turned out to see him perform a lecture. For more information about the film, visit:
  • For further information about the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television, visit:

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