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