Barry Kay – Posthumous Events – 1985-2019


April 19
Barry Kay’s funeral – on the day when he should have been in New York to oversee the works for the staging of Kenneth MacMillan’s Anastasia, one-act version, for American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and to have stayed on for its first night at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York City.

April 22
Subsequent to MacMillan and ABT accepting Michael Werner’s offer to supervise the mounting of Anastasia, it is arranged to fly him, together with Kay’s assistant, Daro Montag, to New York to complete Kay’s work.

April 24 – 30
In New York, Werner, assisted by Montag, attends setting up the sets and the refitting of costumes for the staging of Anastasia.

April 25
In recognition of Barry Kay’s contributions to the performing arts, Michael Werner, while in New York, is founding the Barry Kay Archive with the intention of preserving and encouraging awareness and appreciation of his work.

April 30
First night of Anastasia, one-act version; ballet; assignment sets, costumes, properties and special effects; period newsreel projections; realization Werner; choreography MacMillan; American Ballet Theatre; Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York. – The performance is dedicated to Barry Kay; John Taras, ABT’s associate director, steps before the curtain making the announcement1.

May 10 – June 14
A selection of Barry Kay’s designs for the theatre is shown at “Art and the Theatre in Victoria, 1844-1984”, a touring exhibition of public regional galleries of Victoria, Australia. On display are works from the galleries’ holdings of theatre art – a contribution to Victoria’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations; organized by Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre and Horsham Art Gallery; venue Horsham Art Gallery, Horsham. The exhibition first opened at the Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre on November 30, 1984, and continues to tour other Victorian regional galleries throughout 1985.

June 6
The Royal Opera House (ROH) approaches Werner at the Barry Kay Archive, relaying that Kay, shortly before he died, and MacMillan had discussed and agreed to mount the one-act version of Anastasia for The Royal Ballet (RB) in May 1986. The ROH proposes to Werner to reconstruct the set model, scale 1:25, based on a white model, scale 1:50, kept at the Archive, and to supervise the making of the full-scale sets. The existing costumes of the RB’s three-act production are to be used.

October 22 – December 31
Cost-conscious, the ROH abandons building new sets for Anastasia and instead intends to loan or purchase the set from Ballet Theatre Foundation Inc, ABT’s legal entity, and to restore it to the repertory of the RB. In consequence, the ROH is seeking to acquire from Werner the usage license for Kay’s sets and costumes2, together with the requests to realize the staging at Covent Garden. Meetings and negotiations commence, extending into the next year.


January 1 – March 17
Negotiations and discussions related to mounting Anastasia continue between the ROH and Michael Werner. By March 17, a licence agreement and a service contract are successfully concluded.

February 21
First night of the stage version of Don Quixote, originally premièred at the 1970 Adelaide Festival; ballet; assignment sets, costumes and properties; choreography Rudolf Nureyev after Mario Petipa; The Australian Ballet; State Theatre, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne (renamed since to Arts Centre Melbourne). It is the first staging of the production at the brand new State Theatre which opened in 1984. Performance season February 21 – March 4.

May 8
Première of Anastasia; one-act version; ballet; assignment sets, costumes, properties and special effects; period newsreel projections; realization Werner; choreography MacMillan; The Royal Ballet; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. The performance is dedicated to the memory of Barry Kay.


Month [?] / Day[?]
Barry Kay’s sister, Shirley Danglow, establishes the ‘Barry Kay Memorial Scholarship Fund’ to support the advancement of young talents in their studies of sets and costume designs. Operational under the aegis of The Australian Ballet Endowment, the Scholarship Fund is administered by the Australian Ballet in collaboration with the Victorian State Opera. The inaugural Scholarship is designated to be awarded in 1989.


Month [?] / Day[?]
A theatrical set design by Barry Kay, entitled “Badinage”, created in 1956 and subsequently sold via the Peter Bray Gallery, is donated to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; donator The Art Foundation of Victoria, from the Bequest of Violet Dulieu, founder benefactor, 1997.

October 16 – November 2
On the occasion of the 1997 Melbourne International Arts Festival, Westpac Gallery in conjunction with Clifford Hocking AM, Artistic Director of the Festival, stages an exhibition entitled “Barry Kay: A Tribute (1932-1985)”; venue: the Victorian Arts Centre (in 2003 renamed Arts Centre), Melbourne; solo exhibition, attendance figures 20447.


December 29
The Barry Kay Archive makes its internet début with a continuously expanding electronic publication, entirely devoted to Barry Kay and his artistic legacy.


October 23 – November 14
Première of Don Quixote; ballet; featuring Barry Kay’s costumes hired from The Australian Ballet; choreography Rudolf Nureyev after Mario Petipa; performing company The Royal Ballet; venue Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. Fifteen performances. – The BBC is filming the production for broadcast on Christmas day this year.

December 25
The above production of Don Quixote, with costumes by Barry Kay, is televised by BBC2, BBC Christmas TV 2001.


July 22 – 27
First night of Don Quixote; ballet; featuring Barry Kay’s costumes hired from The Australian Ballet; choreography Rudolf Nureyev after Mario Petipa; performing company The Royal Ballet; venue Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. Six performances.

October 11 – January 6, 2007
As part of the International Celebration of Kenneth MacMillan, the exhibition “Kenneth MacMillan – The Outsider” opens at the London Theatre Museum3, Covent Garden. On show are designs – including those by Kay – photographs and costumes of the Museum’s extensive collections to demonstrate how Macmillan’s innovative work is expressed through a sui generis blend of choreography, design and music.


July 21
On Wikipedia, The Free Online Encyclopedia, the Barry Kay Archive is setting up a page about Barry Kay, containing rudimentary information about his professional life.

To further the mutual exchange of information about Barry Kay between the Barry Kay Archive and professionals and institutions associated with the performing arts wordwide, and to consolidate and promote his artistic achievements, the Archive becomes an institutional member of SIBMAS – Société Internationale des Bibliothèques et des Musées des Arts du Spectacle / International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts.

November 16
The National Register of Archives, containing information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records relating to British history, indexes the Barry Kay Archive and includes it in the ARCHON Directory (ARCHives ONline) of record repositories in the United Kingdom.

December 7
In acknowledgement of the reciprocally fruitful working relationship that had evolved between Peter Darrell, co-founder of Western Theatre Ballet, and Barry Kay, The Peter Darrell Trust, Glasgow, establishes an internet link to the Barry Kay Archive. Darrell invited Kay to design the sets and costumes for The Prisoners, Kay’s first major assignment after he settled in England in 1956. They collaborated on many more occasions in the years to come.


Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo’s distinguished Japanese couture house, invites the Barry Kay Archive to participate with designs by Kay4 for the mailer of their 2005 spring collection. The collaboration results in the publication of one image each of his maquettes for two ballets – Les Quatre Saisons and Solitaire. Printed in Japan on semi-translucent parchment in poster format and elegantly packaged, these images are to accompany promotional material to be distributed to a selected international clientele in the USA, Japan, the UK, Germany, France, Russia and Eastern Europe.

June 11 – September 26
The National Gallery of Australia (NGA), Parkes / Canberra, ACT, in partnership with Australian Theatre for Young People, holds an exhibition entitled “Stage Fright: The Art of Theatre”. Showcasing designs and costumes by artists represented at the Gallery’s collection of Australian Theatre Arts, the exhibition also includes works by Barry Kay. It will tour four Australian locations in 2007.

October – July 2006
Barry Kay’s designs feature in the exhibition “Design for Dance”, mounted by the Royal Opera House Collections at the Royal Opera House, London, displaying outstanding stage designs for The Royal Ballet in celebration of its 75th anniversary.

Barry Kay’s London studios

Mayfair, 1958-1968

Knightsbridge, 1968-1969

Kensington, 1969-1983

Notting Hill, 1983-1985


November 23
The National Library of Australia, Canberra, ACT, identifies the Barry Kay Archive as “heritage of national significance with long-term research value”. As a result, the Archive’s electronic publication is retained and re-archived periodically at the Library’s database of PANDORA (Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia), Australia’s Web Archive, to provide independent public access to it in perpetuity. – As an Australian-born artist, Australia regards Barry Kay an “important and influential designer for the theatre” [sic Dr Robert Bell, NGA, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, Australian Theatre Arts].


Following the request by the Archives of Wesley College, Melbourne, Australia, interested in alumni who have made a name for themselves, the Barry Kay Archive furnishes information related to Kay’s career for an article about him in their Community Magazine due to be published next year. Kay attended Wesley College from 1942 to 1948.

February 9 – October 28
The exhibition “Stage Fright: The Art of Theatre”, launched by the NGA in 2005 and incorporating drawings by Barry Kay, is touring four Australian locations: The Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, February 9 – April 1 / Walter Nicholls Memorial Gallery, Port Lincoln, SA, May 5 – June 3 / Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, Port Pirie, SA, June 15 – July 29 / Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul, NSW, September 14 – October 28.

February 22 – April 21
The Australian Ballet, in conjunction with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), stages an exhibition “Memories in Motion” to commemorate over forty years of The Australian Ballet in Brisbane. The exhibition, coinciding with the Company’s 2007 Queensland performance season and the showing of Don Quixote, features superb costumes from past productions, performance photographs and audio-visual presentations, including Kay’s designs and original costumes for the movie version of Don Quixote; venues: Tony Gould Gallery & QPAC foyers.

November 30
Live Performance Australia, the peak body for Australia’s live entertainment and performing arts industry, commemorates Barry Kay as one of one hundred inductees, eighty of them theatre artists, in its newly established virtual Hall of Fame. It is Live Performance Australia’s way of paying tribute to a remarkable collection of people on the occasion of celebrating its 90th anniversary5.


March 7
At the request of the Swiss boarding school, Ecole Internationale de Genève, where Barry Kay received his initial education in the late 1930s, the Archive furnishes biographic and image material related to him and his work. The School intends to publish a short article about Kay’s career in its 3rd edition of “Echo Magazine” in the autumn of this year.

Publication of an article entitled “Barry Kay and the beginning of a dramatic tradition”; The Wesley College Community Magazine, “Lion”, Edition 103, April 2008.

June 25 -26
Presentation of the pas de deux from Act III of Don Quixote, with Barry Kay’s costumes on loan from The Australian Ballet; choreography Nureyev after Petipa; performing company The Royal Ballet, on tour; venue National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China.

July 8 – 9
Presentation of the pas de deux from Act III of Don Quixote; with Barry Kay’s costumes on loan from The Australian Ballet; choreography Nureyev after Petipa; performing company The Royal Ballet, on tour; venue Koseinenkin Kaikan, Osaka, Japan.

July – September
The Barry Kay Archive intermittently liaises with Deborah MacMillan, widow of Kenneth MacMillan, in regard to costume designs by Barry Kay for Kenneth’s original two-act Isadora (1981). Deborah, who is in the process of producing a condensed one-act version of the ballet, intended as a new production for the Royal Ballet in 2009, requests the Archive to assist in researching its repository for costume drawings, as some of the costumes need to be reconstructed. The Archive provides the necessary material and, in January 2009, Deborah views the Isadora portfolios for additional references.


January 14
Martine Kahane, Director of the Centre National du Costume de Scène (CNCS)6 in Moulins, France, contacts the Archive with a view to present in its forthcoming exhibition – “Rudolf Noureev 1938-1993” – some of Barry Kay’s works created for Nureyev and his ballets.

January 31
CNCS’ Deputy Director, Delphine Pinasa, pays the Archive a visit to view the design material related to Nureyev. She later communicates: “I was very surprised to find out about the Barry Kay Archive’s most interesting collection and its vast volume. All this represents an enormous tribute to the history of the performing arts.”

February 3 – April 10
C International Photo Magazine, London & Madrid, approaches the Barry Kay Archive, wishing to include in its September 2009 issue a selection of images from Barry Kay’s photographic socio-anthropological documentary As a Woman / The Other Women / Die anderen Frauen. Following assurance of the Archive’s full cooperation, the Editors reply: “We are very excited about publishing a portfolio of Barry Kay’s work.”7

March 3
Janine Barrand, Director of the Arts Centre Melbourne8, responsible for Collections, Research & Exhibitions, visits the Barry Kay Archive to view some of its design holdings and to have a dialogue concerning archival matters. Issues of discussion include mutual cooperation and the prospects of an exhibition of works by Barry Kay.

March 11
World première of Isadora; ballet; a newly devised, condensed one-act version of the original 1981 two-act production; assignment costumes and properties9; choreography Kenneth MacMillan; production Deborah MacMillan; leading role Tamara Rojo; The Royal Ballet; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

May 9 – November 11
Mixed exhibition “Rudolf Noureev 1938-1993” at the CNCS, France; occasion – celebration of the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation having donated the CNCS a prestigious, multifaceted collection of objects, once the property of Nureyev. On display are costume drawings as well as original stage costumes, including those Barry Kay created for Nureyev in the role of Basilio in Don Quixote; CNCS, Quartier Villars, Moulins sur Allier, France.

May 26
In acknowledgment of Barry Kay’s work for Rudolf Nureyev and his productions the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, Paris, sets up an internet link to the Barry Kay Archive.

July 14 – 16
Presentation of the pas de deux from Act III of Don Quixote, with costumes designed by Barry Kay on loan from The Australian Ballet; choreography Nureyev after Petipa; part of a mixed program; conjointly performed by The Royal Ballet & Ballet Nacional de Cuba; venue Gran Teatro de La Habana; occasion Tribute to Alicia Alonso, prima ballerina assoluta, choreographer and founder of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. The BBC provides live streaming on huge outdoor screens for several thousand locals. – This is The Royal Ballet’s first visit to Cuba; duration of tour July 14 – 18.

September 1
Publication of a portfolio of ten photographic portraits from Barry Kay’s socio-anthropological documentary As a Woman / The Other Women / Die anderen Frauen, created during the years 1974-75; C International Photo Magazine, Edition 9, English/Chinese & Spanish/Japanese, hardback, September 2009; Ivorypress, London & Madrid; English/Chinese editon ISSN: 1748/3536, ISBN: 9780955961335.


March 23
A Zika Ascher silk scarf, designed by Barry Kay between 1951 and 1953, features in the newly published and comprehensively illustrated book of “Scarves”; co-authors: Nicky Albrechtsen, Fola Solanka; publisher: Thames & Hudson, London – New York; ISBN-13: 978-0-500-51564-810.

October 21
Release of the publication “Luminous – Celebrating 50 years of The Australian Ballet”, 1962-2012. The lavishly illustrated, 360-page-strong book features ballet scenes of Don Quixote designed by Barry Kay: publisher: The Australian Ballet; ISBN: 978-0-646-55293-4.


January 19
Barry Kay’s photographic documentary The Other Women, along with works by eight other photographers11, is chosen as a subject for a seminar and discussion, entitled “Intimate vs Private”, taking place under the umbrella of “picbod” (picturing the body), a BA (Hons) Photography second year undergraduate class at the Coventry University, UK. The course’s core tenet is the development of a sustainable practice for students, key to which is the investigation of contemporary photographic practices and their implications for the medium as a whole. To this end, The Other Women and Carnival Strippers, by the American documentary photographer Susan Meiselas, are juxtaposed to one another.

January 28 – 29
The Barry Kay Archive collaborates with the Theater Instituut Nederland [in Dutch] in updating and completing records about Kay and his engagements in the Netherlands, which are maintained at the Institute’s database – Theaterencyclopedie, the Dutch digital Theatre Encyclopedia. The Archive provides an abridged biography as well as assignment and performance data pertaining to productions Kay designed in the Netherlands, including those designed for and staged by touring overseas companies, dating back to 196012.

March 23 – April 3
As part of its 2012 season, the San Francisco Ballet is presenting Rudolf Nureyev’s Raymonda, Act III. The company stages its own production with original costumes and set designed by Barry Kay in 1966 and hired from The Royal Ballet; venue War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco; seven performances.

October 6 – February 17, 2013
Mixed exhibition “Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance”; organized in collaboration with the Centre national du costume de Scène (CNCS), Moulins, France, and the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; occasion: the 20th anniversary of Rudolf Nureyev’s death; displayed works by Barry Kay include costume drawings and actual stage costumes designed for and worn by Nureyev in Don Quixote; venue de Young Museum.


July 25 – 27
To mark the 75th anniversary of Rudolf Nurevey’s birth and the 20th anniversary of his death, the English National Ballet is staging Raymonda, Act III, as part of “A tribute to Rudolf Nureyev”; the sets and costumes, designed by Barry Kay in 1966, are on loan from The Royal Ballet; venue London Coliseum; five performances.

October 17 – 18
Upon special invitation by the CNCS, the Barry Kay Archive is represented at the Museum’s inauguration of the permanent display dedicated to Rudolf Nureyev. As a memento of the occasion and the professionally creative Kay-Nureyev collaboration, the Archive presents Delphine Pinasa (since 2011 Director of the CNCS) a set of three sketches by Kay, depicting variations of a costume design for Nureyev as Basilio in the film version of Don Quixote13.


February 27 – 28
The Sarasota Ballet, Florida, presents Rudolf Nurevey’s production of Raymonda, Act III, featuring Barry Kay’s sets and costumes, initially conceived in 1966 and hired from The Royal Ballet; venue Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall; three performances.

August 1
Publication of “Barry Kay and the Barry Kay Archive”, an account of Kay’s creative ideals and achievements in theatre design and the Archive’s role and engagement in preserving his artistic legacy; author: Michael Werner; publisher Association of Performing Arts Collections (APAC), Newsletter August 2015, issue 3, special features (pdf). – APAC is the UK affiliate of SIBMAS.


February 26 – March 2
Première of Raymonda, Act III, and subsequent performances presented by La Compagnia di Balletto dell’Opera di Roma with Kay’s 1966 designs on loan from The Royal Ballet; the fourth of a quadruple program entitled “Grandi Coreografi”; venue Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Teatro Costanzi); six performances.

Google Arts & Culture online display of Barry Kay’s performance costumes for Don Quixote at The Australian Ballet – photos Nick Manuell


February 7 – 16
The Barry Kay Archive grants The Australian Ballet permission to have Google – under the umbrella of the Google Cultural Institute – photograph and publish 35 of Barry Kay’s actual performance costumes for Don Quixote, designed for The Australian Ballet in 1972. The specially selected images are being shot in very high resolution, to reveal fascinating details in close-up view, and are permanently accessible online at Google Arts & Culture.