Barry Kay, internationally acclaimed stage and costume designer, photographer, born 1932 Melbourne Australia, died 1985 London England
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Solitaire – scenery designs





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Solitaire
    Costumes
    Scenery
    Reviews

Barry Kay Set Design Sketch Stage 1 for Kenneth MacMillan's Ballet Solitaire Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet London 1978 Glass Lucite Appliqué Inflatable Tree Photo Michael Werner



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Barry Kay's sketchbook

Samples of a series of experimental and exploratory drawings demonstrating the gradual development of the scenery for Solitaire, executed in feltpen and pastel crayon.



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Barry Kay plain glass sphere before assembly and appliqué for set model of Kenneth MacMillan's Ballet Solitaire Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet London 1978


Design by Barry Kay, decorated glass sphere after assembly and appliqué for set model of Kenneth MacMillan's Ballet Solitaire, Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet London, 1978


Scenery Design by Barry Kay, Set Model for Kenneth MacMillan's Ballet Solitaire, Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet London, 1978, consisting of assembled glass spheres appliquéd with foliage to resemble tree, maquette for an inflatable tree

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Glass segments
raw state (l)
appliquéd (c)
assembled (r)


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Kay – a firm believer in exploiting the entire three-dimensional stage space by placing the scenery off the ground to provide for maximum area of performing action – created a translucent tree as a central feature expanding overhead the dancing.

As the idea needed to be conveyed convincingly in the maquette, the tree was constructed from differing individually mouth-blown glass spheres assembled around a Lucite trunk. After completion, colourized paper cut-outs of photocopied antique engravings of foliage were appliquéd onto the entire tree. For use on stage, the tree was made of inflatable polyvinyl chloride (PVC).



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Barry Kay Set Model for Kenneth MacMillan's Ballet Solitaire Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet London 1978 Glass Lucite Appliqué Inflatable Tree Photo Michael Werner

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Barry Kay's final set model for Solitaire, scale 1:25. To provide a fitting ambience, he arranged the tree against an eggshell-coloured backdrop, decorated with undulating lateral lines to suggest a low-lying, gently rolling landscape receding toward the horizon.

Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet
Sadler's Wells Theatre, London
First Night 28 April 1978

The model is preserved at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Theatre and Performance Collection.



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