Barry Kay was an Australian-born stage and costume designer of international renown. After having studied painting at the Académie Julian in Paris and theatre design in Melbourne, he settled in London in 1956. In the course of his career, lasting almost four decades, he designed for the ballet, opera and theatre alike, working with established directors and choreographers at major theatres and opera houses and their companies worldwide.
Kay's emphasis lay in pioneering three-dimensional stage set designs for the ballet. By breaking away from the traditional use of "flat wings" scenery, in designing for the theatre he expanded on the revolutionary ideas of the Russian Constructivists and the Italian Futurists in the early part of the 20th century.
Among others, he designed for the choreographers Walter Gore, Peter Darrell, Kenneth MacMillan and Rudolf Nureyev, as well as for ballet companies such as Western Theatre Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet, the Ballet of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, Le Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris and American Ballet Theatre.