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ROBIN ANDERSON 1931 – 2023

It is with sadness that we report the death on June 29th of Robin Anderson, one of the trustees of the Peter Darrell Trust.

Robin was born on January 26th,1931, to father James and mother Irene in Dunfermline, Scotland. He was the eldest of three brothers, Alistair and Ian following four and fourteen years later, respectively. Robin and Alistair attended Canmore Primary and Dunfermline High Schools.

Robin suffered a serious accident aged twelve when riding his bicycle in Dunfermline and in the recovery process learned to ice-skate as part of then forward-thinking physiotherapy. He persevered with this until at the age of 21 while attending Herriot Watt University studying Pharmacy he became the figure skating champion of Scotland and was invited to join a renowned touring ice-dancing company. Sadly, after two weeks of rehearsal Robin collapsed on the ice, his earlier injuries preventing him from following his dream to become a professional ice-dancer.

Robin then spent almost twenty years as a pharmacist in London and Edinburgh before taking the plunge and starting a new and late career in theatre management. Obtaining a bursary from the Arts Council he worked in several venues in England including the Phoenix Theatre in Leicester before getting the call to interview for the Administrator post at the newly-formed Scottish Theatre Ballet, which had developed from the Western Theatre Ballet and, under Director Peter Darrell, relocated to Glasgow under its new title in 1969.

As a vital force in the Company, now renamed in 1974 simply as The Scottish Ballet, Robin was instrumental in building its commercial success and influence in the theatre arts inviting Margot Fonteyn to tour with them in Australia and New Zealand, Rudolf Nureyev in Spain and arranging tours throughout the UK along with principal productions at the home base in Glasgow at the Theatre Royal.

He remained in his key post with the Scottish Ballet for almost the rest of his professional life before returning, after a refresher course, to become a locum pharmacist once again as a semi-retirement part-time job!

In later life Robin continued to be a supporter and Director of the Margaret Morris Movement along with his long-term partner Scottish dancer and choreographer Jim Hastie, b. 1936 - d. 2010. He was also a Trustee of the Peter Darrell Trust from 1995 until his death.

He also found time, while still physically active, to renew his interest in small boats along with brother Alistair through the Arthur Ransome Society and after Jim's death to tour around the UK by caravan with close friend Peter Brabender. Peter became his mainstay and carer in his final years and as huge fans of American musician Todd Rundgren, they organised a fan convention at Kelburn Castle, Largs to celebrate Todd's in-person 70th birthday - Robin's final moment in showbiz.

Sadly, Robin's childhood injuries were to revisit and and force him to become inactive during the last few years but his intellect and passion for the arts remained undiminished and his friendship and legacy will be remembered by many throughout the Scottish Arts community.

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