Tony Arnell Theatre Programme Collection

Scope and Content

Tony Arnell is a casting director, who worked for well known television companies including LWT. Prior to this he worked at Spotlight, alongside Cary Ellison, to encourage actors and actresses to sign up to be included in the publication. Throughout his career, Mr Arnell visited theatre productions to spot actors to either encourage to join Spotlight, or that he might want to cast in the shows he was working on. The Tony Arnell Theatre Programme Collection consists of programmes for theatrical productions seen by Tony Arnell from 1960s- 1980s, with his notes inside detailing his thoughts on the cast, production and play. The programmes are predominantly for shows in the South-East of England, and also include annotated programmes for performances by Drama School and as part of the London Fringe Festival. The collection also includes some programmes from the 1990s and 2000s, although these are not annotated.

Also included in the collection are items related to the '12' group- founded in 1958 by Cary Ellison as a gathering of casting directors, theatrical agents and other leading figures in the theatre industry. Tony Arnell took over as president in 1988 and continued to run the group until its closure in 2004. Items in the collection include a history of the group, and albums of photographs of 12 members taken at their annual garden parties from 1988 onwards.

Administrative / Biographical History

Casting director who worked for many years for LWT, ITV and other companies. He worked for casting directory Spotlight in the 1960s, alongside Cary Ellison. Arnell also chaired the 12 club for the last years of its existence


Programmes from 1960s- 1990s arranged in files alphabetically by show titles. Later programmes are grouped by year. There are separate files for Drama School programmes and London Fringe Festival programmes (both grouped alphabetically by institution name), with the items relating to '12' at the end

Conditions Governing Access

Available to view by appointment. Please email Kingston University Archives and Special Collections to make an appointment.

Acquisition Information

Kindly presented by Tony Arnell

Custodial History

Items were collected and held by Tony Arnell prior to their transfer to the Archive

Related Material

Theatre programmes from the 1950s to the 1980s with similar annotations can be found in the Cary Ellison Theatre Programme Collection, reference KUAS75. Both Cary Ellison and Tony Arnell worked for Spotlight.