REVIEW| The Secret Society of Leading Ladies (Barn Theatre, Cirencester)

 ★★★★★

Since the closing of theatres nearly a year ago, I have watched a multitude of theatre streams, from full professional prerecorded productions to live-streamed concerts I have been glad to watch anything and everything that would scratch the theatre itch and fill the rather large hole that has been left in my heart thanks to the global pandemic.

The Barn Theatre have so far created some fantastic theatre content including the one man amazing production of Peter Pan to the thrilling murder mystery of What a Carve Up have again pulled it out of the bag with the very clever Secret Society of Leading Ladies.


The premise behind the show is that there is fourteen separate performances with one hundred and fifty different combinations and it is down to the watcher themselves to "pick their own" concert in this exciting thirty minute spectacular. The focus of this concert is to focus on the various types of Female leading lady ranging from the diva and the villain to the dreamer and the princess. This concept, which was conceived and directed by Ryan Carter is a different look at the "classic" concert, one that I really enjoyed and thought was very creative.

Over the course of the concert, the viewer gets presented with five separate "choose your player" screens, each of which prompts a new character to enter the fray. Each individual concert consists of five performances picked by the viewer as well as a finale which includes all fourteen actresses, providing you the chance to see a glimpse of all the characters involved, singing Big Finish from SMASH that will leave you calling for more.

The cast of this performance is amazing. It is made up of some of the best talent that the UK has, some of which I had previously seen and others that were new to me.  Jocasta Almgill, Lauren Byrne, Kayla Carter, Aoife Clesham, Allie Daniel, Abbi Hodgson, Aisha Jawando, Claudia Kariuki, Natalie Kassanga, Emma Kingston, Kayleigh McNight, Ellie Mitchell, Jarneia Richard-Noel and Kelly Sweeney take on some of the stage's greatest female leads, from shows such as The Wizard of Oz, Mean Girls, Sister Act and Shrek. 

Kayla Carter

Emma Kingston

Jocasta Almgill


Personal favourite performances of mine include Jocasta Almgill's version of Everybody's Girl from Steel Pier , Lauren Byrne's Journey to the Past from Anastasia and Aofie Clesham's rendition of History of Wrong Guys from Kinky Boots. Each of these left me smiling even after they had ended but I could honestly say there wasn't a performance I didn't love.

As previously mentioned there is a lot of combinations to discover, which encourages you to watch the show more than once. I personally watched it four times, three in order to watch all the combinations and a fourth time just for fun. The great thing about the tickets available is that you can either pay for a single (£10) for one show or a day ticket (£15), which gives you 24 hours to enjoy all fourteen performances and try out as many of the one hundred and fifty combinations to try out.

I thoroughly enjoyed this very innovative show from the Barn Theatre, they did an excellent job and have definitely left me wanting more and more. 

The show runs online at the Barn Theatre HERE until the 7th March 2021.


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