Kenneth Barnes

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This article is about the British Art Director. For the American Bank Robber, see Death of Brian Douglas Wells.

Sir Kenneth Ralph Barnes, KBE, CBE (11 September 1878 – 16 October 1957) was director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, from 1909 until 1955.

He was born in Heavitree, near Exeter, one of six siblings. His sisters, Irene and Violet became actresses.

In 1921 he instigated the building of a new theatre for RADA which was totally demolished by bombing in 1941. A new Vanbrugh Theatre was opened by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1954 shortly before Sir Kenneth's retirement. He was knighted in 1938.[1]