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The Secret Society of Leading Ladies Review

It's fast approaching a year since the first lockdown began in March 2020 and since that time there have been a plethora of brilliant online concerts but the Barn Theatre's latest offering brings something fresh and exciting, a concert where you get to choose the setlist.

Conceived and directed by Ryan Carter this celebration of female musical theatre characters. It's really inventive and a fun way to watch a performance. There's a choice of over 150 combinations so you're compelled to watch it more than once to find out what other choices you could have made.


Kayleigh McKnight

The thing that works so well about this idea is how accessible and easy it is to use. You're simply offered 3 choices of character and song and you pick one, and you continue like this until an encore ('Big Finish' from Smash) that features all the performers. In between each number, there's a little bit of scripted interaction between the characters you've picked so far. 

The all-female line up features brilliant performers and performances. My own personal favourite performances being; Kayleigh McKnight's 'World Burn' from Mean Girls, Emma Kingston's 'Dying Aint So Bad' from Bonnie and Clyde, Natalie Kassanga's 'Out Here On My Own' from Fame, Kelly Sweeney's 'Morning Person' from Shrek The Musical, Jocasta Almgill's 'Everybody's Girl' from Steel Pier and Abbi Hodgson's 'Nothing Stops Another Day' from Ghost. There are some magnificent vocals and characterisations throughout all the performances. From Princesses, Divas, Witches and more, there's something for everyone.

Jocasta Almgill

On the production side, the numbers are well shot by videographer Jamie Scott-Smith and Leo Munby's musical work and Harry Smith's sound engineering mean the numbers sound great. Editor Ben Evans must have had a lot of work to do putting all these clips together and his hard work pays off.

I made sure I went through and watched it three times to make sure I'd seen all the performances. It's well worth making sure you purchase the 24-hour ticket option when you book so that you can check out all the performances. It's a nice bit of theatrical escapsim especially as you the viewer gets to choose the path. An inventive spin on the online streamed concert.

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ a clever interactive concept offering a unique take on the virtual musical theatre concert

The Secret Society of Leading Ladies streams from The Barn Theatre from the 22nd February to 7th March with tickets available from the Barn website

Kelly Sweeney.

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