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

Scenery and Costume Designs for the Theatre – Photography

On 20 November 2019, the Archive's curator Michael Werner sadly passed away. Read his obituary here.


This website is exclusively dedicated to the life and work of Barry Kay (1932-1985), a highly acclaimed stage and costume designer of international renown, who later in his career also made a name for himself as a distinguished photographer.

Inside these pages you will find, among others, an array of Kay's scenery and costume designs, ranging from explorative sketches to final drawings, from set models to technical blueprints and stage layout plans, as well as actual performance shots. His career and views on designing for the theatre are largely conveyed by a collection of articles, essays, interview transcripts, letters and other records, to name but a few. An itemized biography, chronologically arranged over five pages, charts the artist's activities, a multitude of events, stage production premières, performances generally featuring his designs, anecdotal evidence and accounts of oral history. An addendum to the biography documents posthumous happenings related to his artistic legacy.

The section on photography covers Kay's remarkable achievement in this field.

The Barry Kay Archive aims to provide free online access to a cross selection of Barry Kay's diversified artistic output. Its electronic publication is therefore expanded and updated from time to time. To the best of our knowledge, it is the world's only online archive solely devoted to a single designer for the performing arts.

Please note: Unless indicated otherwise, all material displayed on this website is protected by copyright.

Explore the Archive

Preliminary drawing by Barry Kay, set design section, Anastasia 3-Act version, Act II, ballroom scene, The Royal Ballet, 1971, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Choreography Kenneth MacMillan

Three-act version
Set design, exploratory drawing
Act II, imperial ballroom, section
The Royal Ballet
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
World première 22 July 1971



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release 12 June 2017 - version 24.6 - update 09 February 2018

web design and web domain contents © Michael Werner Barry Kay Archive 1999-2018