Toni Attard: 'Be kind to yourself. You’re doing your best and that’s enough'

Creative producer Toni Attard tells all in our Q&A

Photo by Elisa von Brockdorff
Photo by Elisa von Brockdorff

Toni Attard is creative producer of Udjenza and theatre director of upcoming play Is-Snin Li Tħoss staring Clare Agius at Spazju Kreattiv. His most recent works as director are a non-verbal comedy for children Bonġu Bejt, Ta’ Fuqha Senduqha tackling homelessness in Malta and Il-Pożittivi, inspired by stories of people living with HIV in Malta. As festival director Toni led four editions of Ziguzajg and last year was artistic director of the EuroPride arts programme. 

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I ask if I can give myself a lie in. Since the answer is usually a resounding no, I swiftly draw open the curtains, open the balcony doors for fresh air, answer messages, choreograph the day in my head and float to the kitchen for my caffeine boosted breakfast routine accompanied by music chosen by Siri and news updates from the BBC.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be kind to yourself. You’re doing your best and that’s enough.

 What do you never leave the house without?

Sunglasses and the phone.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Random, passionate and hardheaded.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Reinventing myself while standing up to those who tried stopping me along the way, including myself.    

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I can’t miss my espresso at 1pm, snacking on almonds and won’t go to bed before watching an episode on Netflix, even if I snooze through half of it.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

No matter how disastrous things may seem to be, they will always end up being ok.   

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My art collection.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

How to play an instrument.

Who’s your inspiration?

Anyone who keeps me daydreaming and every moment given by nature.

What has been your biggest challenge?


If you weren’t a theatre director, what would you be doing?

A touring circus artist, probably a clown.       

Do you believe in God?   


If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

My late father at a family dinner.

What’s your worst habit?

Working late nights.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

More talkative than usual and will dance even if there’s no music.   

Who would you have play you in a film?

Stanley Tucci.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What music would you have played at your funeral?

I’d love if my musician and singer friends choose their own pieces and perform together.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My apartment.

What is your earliest memory?

Sitting on the kitchen top stealing pastry dough and eating it.

When did you last cry, and why?

This morning during rehearsals. The play is an emotional roller coaster and some moments hit hard but they’re also quite cathartic.   

Who would you most like to meet?


What’s your favourite food?

Mum’s cooking.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Clare Agius is constantly in my news feed. Algorithms know we’re working together!

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

17th Century Valletta.

What book are you reading right now?

Re-reading Palestine a comic book by Joe Sacco.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The power to stop human-led destruction.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Travel the world.

What music are you listening to at the moment?


In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Depending on my mood and motivation my gym music selection is quite random ranging from electronic house and cheesy pop to musical theatre and classical music.