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.


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.