Letter by Harold Holt, from 1956, to Barry Kay, stage and costume designer, intent on making a career in the United Kingdom. Holt, in his capacity of the 	Australian Minister for Immigration, 1949-1956, and who later became the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, 1966-1967, arranged introductions for his friend Barry Kay to the establishment of the performing arts in England.


Letter by Frederick Ashton, from 1956, to Barry Kay, stage and costume designer, intent on making a career in the United Kingdom. Ashton offers to meet Kay for an interview and present his portfolio, promising to help where he can. As a result of this meeting Kay is recommended to choreographer Peter Darrell; Darrell and Kay collaborate on 'The Prisoners', performed at Dartington Festival, Devon, 1957.



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Design Career
   Support letters

Harold Holt, Minister, Commonwealth of Australia, 1956

Both Harold Holt and his wife Zara were friends of Barry Kay. Holt, who later became the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, wrote the letter in his capacity of Minister for Immigration. He tried to help Kay by mediating contacts to professionals connected to the performing arts in England. In his letter, also signed on Zara's behalf, he seems to refer to the Australian barrister-at-law, writer and diplomat Alfred Stirling.


Frederick Ashton, Choreographer, The Royal Ballet, 1956

Although Frederick Ashton never engaged Barry Kay to work for him, he is believed to have introduced the latter to the choreographer Peter Darrell. They first collaborated in 1956/57, when Kay designed the scenery and costumes for The Prisoners and several other ballets later on.



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Letter by the British Council, from 1956, to Australian-born Barry Kay, stage and costume designer, intent on making a career in the United Kingdom. The Council's note reads '...we shall be very pleased to do anything we can to help you...'. As a result Kay exhibits on several occasions at the British Council, locally and internationally; the Council also acquires some of his designs, which have been handed over to the theatre collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, in 1978, when the Council dissolved its arts collection.


Letter by Bryan Bailey, dated 21st January 1958, to Australian-born Barry Kay, stage and costume designer, intent on making a career in the United Kingdom. Upon the recommendation of the play author Charles Landstone, Bryan Bailey - first director of the newly erected Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, to be opened in March of 1958 - approaches Kay, proposing a meeting to discuss design work in connection with the theatre's inauguration season. Their meeting results in the invitation for Kay to design 'Picnic', a romance by William Inge.



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C M Forty, Fine Arts Department, The British Council, 1956

Barry Kay exhibited on several occasions at The British Council, locally as well as internationally. When the Council dissolved its fine arts collection in 1978, Kay's designs it had acquired were handed over to the Victoria & Albert Museum, Theatre and Collections.





Bryan Bailey, Director, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, 1958

The meeting with Bryan Bailey, the first director since the Belgrade Theatre's inception in 1958, resulted in Barry Kay's assignment to design its second production - the inaugural stage presentation in England of Picnic: A Summer Romance by William Inge, followed by Romanoff and Juliet by Peter Ustinov, and Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw.





http://www.barry-kay-archive.org/NOTES_TEXTS/NT_Support_Letters.html