News and events


The 23rd of August 2024 marks the 35th anniversary of the death of R.D. Laing. Many thanks indeed for all the contining messages on social media remembering R.D. Laing and his lifelong stance for the humanitarian treatment of the mentally distressed. His life and legacy lives on for as long as we remember him.

Thank you


Ronald David Laing was born on the 7th of October 1927 and died on the 23rd August 1989, aged 61.


Dame Hilary Mantel

It is with great sadness the R.D. Laing Estate records the passing on the 22nd September 2022 of the world renowned Dame Hilary Mantel, aged  just 70 years.

Hilary was a wonderfully gifted and generous spirit who was greatly influenced by the works of R.D.Laing, particularly 'Sanity, Madness and the Family' for which she wrote a fanatastic introduction as detailed below.

For Hilary's explanation as to how RD Laing influenced her development see:


'Unforgettable': BBC Radio 4

was first broadcast on Tuesday, 31st July 2018 (second broadcast, 6th October) on BBC Radio 4, a reconstructed conversation between Adrian Laing and R.D. Laing in the 'Unforgettable' series, currently available on BBC iplayer:



'Sanity, Madness and the Family'

was reissued as a Routledge Classic in 2016 with a great introduction by the late Dame Hilary Mantel. 


Anthony Stadlen and Dame Hilary Mantel (twice Booker prize winner) hosted day-long seminars on the 11 families featured in 'Sanity, Madness and the Family' by R.D. Laing and Aaron Esterson, twice with Adrian Laing as co-presenter. For further details of this and other seminars see Anthony Stadlen's blog:



Dramatisations of the life and works of RD Laing:


'Divided' by Ian Pattison

is a powerful play by Ian Pattison which sheds a sharp light on the events surrounding the death of R.D. Laing's second daughter, Susie, in 1976. The play was first staged at the Oran Mor in Glasgow's West End in 2013 and more recently from Monday the 14th October to Saturday the 19th of October 2019.


'The Divided Laing or The Two Ronnies' by Patrick Marmion

was performed between 17 November - 12 December 2015 at the Arcola Theatre, Dalston London. This riotous play by Patrick Marmion, starring Alan Cox, captured the conflicts and tension between Aaron Esterson, David Cooper, Joe Berke, Mary Barnes and R.D. Laing during the early Kingsley Hall days in the mid-1960s.


'Mad to be Normal'

starring David Tennant was first screened at the Glasgow Film Festival on Sunday the 26th of February 2017. An insightful and critical review of the film by Adrian Laing was posted by BBC News Scotland on the 28th of February 2017:


A more general feature of RD Laing was posted by the BBC on the 26th of February:


'Did You Used to be R.D. Laing'

Mike Maran wrote and toured extensively with a very engaging one man show about the life of R.D. Laing, a snippet of which is on YouTube:



'R.D. Laing: A Life by' Adrian Laing


Adrian Laing's biographical study of his father's life was the basis of the award-winning BBC Scotland documentary: 'Just Another Sinner'. The acclaimed study has been translated into Chinese (simple language) on a renewed basis by PsyGarden Press, due for a relaunch in late 2023. The official feature film based on Adrian's work is very much alive and well and in development.


Translation Rights


It has taken over 30 years of persistent hard work to state that The R. D. Laing Estate is the recognised rights' holder of all foreign languages of the works of R.D. Laing with a few very (and diminishing) specific contractual exceptions.


It is important that rights are acquired from The R.D. Laing Estate on a firm, legal basis.


All licences are issued for a limited, licenced period normally for a term between 5 and 7 years.


Please do check if rights are available now or in the near future.


If The R. D Laing Estate does not hold or control the right to issue a licence it will always seek to assist the inquirer in finding the appropriate licensor. For example, we do not (at this stage) control the translation rights in respect of 'The Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise', 'Self and Others', 'Knots' and 'The Politics of the Family', nor do we hold the translation rights in 'The Divided Self' in the languages of Danish, Spanish and Italian.


For enquiries about translation rights please contact:


Adrian Laing:









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