Mull’s An Tobar gets new chief

Caption: An Tobar's new chief executive Rebecca Atkinson-Lord Photo: Alex Beckett

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An Tobar’s potential to be a cultural beacon for Scotland and the wider world ‘thrills and inspires’ its new chief executive Rebecca Atkinson-Lord.

Trained as a Director at RADA and with the Royal Opera House and Young Vic, her work has taken her from major international companies like Shakespeare’s Globe, Scottish Opera, and the Royal Opera House, to intimate spaces in London and beyond – and now to the island of Mull.

Rebecca is swopping her  job as artistic director and chief executive of London-based theatre production and development hub Arch 468 to take on the top role at An Tobar and also be Mull Theatre’s artistic director – she will take up the helm next month.

A hybrid theatre-maker who directs, writes, and produces theatre and performance, Rebecca says she is ‘incredibly excited’ about what is to come.

‘Mull has a long history of inspiring world-class art and is home to a remarkable community of artists.

‘As the key repository for the island’s cultural identity, An Tobar and Mull Theatre holds a unique place in our national discourse.

‘It’s a small organisation with a big heart that punches well above its weight and I’m thrilled and inspired by its potential to become a cultural beacon for the whole of Scotland, the UK, and the wider world,’ she said.

Raymond MacDonald, Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation at the University of Edinburgh and co-chairperson of the Mull board, described Rebecca as an ‘exceptionally gifted and world-class producer, writer, director and performer’ and welcomed her to the team.

‘Her expertise, vision, and passion for the arts combine with her collegiality and community spirit to make her the perfect person to join as our new chief executive and artistic director (theatre),’ he said.

Thanks were also given to outgoing theatre director Beth Morton as her interim post comes to an end.

‘Beth has created some brilliant work while in the post of theatre director and has led Mull Theatre through the pandemic with surety and care, forging new exciting partnerships for the theatre and working to build a strong future.

‘Beth will return to her work as a freelance director and theatre-maker but we are very much looking forward to continuing our collaboration with her when she returns to work with us in the future, most notably to direct an upcoming production she commissioned during her time here,’ said Professor MacDonald.

In 2008 Rebecca founded theatre production and development hub Arch 468 dedicated to transforming the theatre landscape.

From 2010 to 2016 she was director of theatre at Ovalhouse, now known as Brixton House, and at the National Portfolio Theatre in South London.

She is also an experienced teacher, speaker, and mentor and has taught acting and directing at several of the UK’s leading drama schools and universities including RADA, King’s College London, London South Bank University and the University of Birmingham.