Theatre programmes and related material of Tony Church (c.1920-2006), theatre sound engineer and radio producer; 1970-2005

Scope and Content

The collection comprises chiefly of theatre programmes, almost half of which relate to Nottingham Playhouse, but Nottingham's Theatre Royal, Derby Playhouse, and the Royal Shakespeare Company are particularly well represented, although none have a complete sequence. Also present are advertising flyers and programmes for amateur and college productions and a small number of French productions.

Theatre programmes often feature attractive images and glossy photography on the front cover and inside. A biography of the writer or the historical background to the performance of the play may also be included. Information about the theatre is often present, such as the history, administrative structure, sponsors, a detailed list of theatre staff and advertisements for local businesses. Season brochures give a diary of performances and can be useful for dating purposes.

Also present are a folder of press releases relating to productions during the directorship of Richard Eyre, and a small number of items providing evidence of visits to the various productions, such as ticket stubbs, hotel reservation receipts, etc.

Administrative / Biographical History

The theatre programmes were collected by Tony Church (d. 2006), who was at one time employed as lighting and sound engineer and chief electrician at the old Nottingham Playhouse on Goldsmith Street. He went on to become a senior producer for BBC radio in the East Midlands and worked at Radio Nottingham. He maintained a strong interest in the theatre, attending numerous performances across the country and married actress Marielaine Douglas (1938-2014), who taught drama at Clarendon College, Nottingham, and who conducted and published a series of interviews with the former artistic directors of Nottingham Playhouse.


The collection consists of two main series: programmes relating to the Nottingham Playhouse, which were already arranged by the theatre directorships of Stuart Burge (1968-1973), Richard Eyre (1973-1978), Geoffrey Reeves (1978-1980), Richard Digby-Day (1980-1984), Kenneth Alan Taylor (1984-1990), Pip Broughton (1990-1995), Martin Duncan (1995-1999) and Giles Croft (1999 onwards). The second series consists of programes from various national theatres (and some overseas theatres), and has been organised by country and then alphabetically by theatre location, and date order.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript catalogue.

Online: Detailed catalogue available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections

Custodial History

The collection of theatre programmes was acquired by the University in January 2007.

Related Material

Manuscripts and Special collections, The University of Nottingham; Play scripts used by Nottingham Playhouse. c.1965-1979. (TwT/4)

Manuscripts and Special collections, The University of Nottingham; Papers of Sir Hugh Willatt including printed items produced by Nottingham Playhouse. (THW)

Nottinghamshire Archives: Records of Nottingham Playhouse including Board papers, financial records, correspondence, and papers relating to the production of plays. 1947-1993. Reference: DD NP


Church, Marielaine. Nottingham Playhouse: Marielaine Church collection, 2006 (King's Meadow Campus East Midlands Special Collection Oversize Not 3.R34 CHU)