The Secret Society of Leading Ladies online concert review – ★★★★★

An innovative format and powerful performances make The Secret Society of Leading Ladies one of the best pieces of musical theatre to come out of lockdown.

Produced by The Barn Theatre, The Secret Society of Leading Ladies offers a brand new twist to online concerts – to quote creator and director Ryan Carter, “I bandersnatch’d a Musical Theatre Concert”.

The concert takes audiences into a world where Musical Theatre characters can co-exist in the same space regardless of era or genre, ranging from princesses and dreamers to villains and divas.

A number of ‘Choose Your Player’ screens give you the power to choose which character to introduce next, essentially allowing you to put together your own unique concert.

It’s a concept that couldn’t work on stage but by taking full advantage of what can be done online the team has created a truly inventive piece of theatre.

In all there are some 150 concerts that can be created with performances from 14 talented stars.

Emma Kingston and Kayla Carter
Kayla Carter and Emma Kingston

Throughout our journey we experienced a toe-tapping opener from the fabulous Claudia Kariuki while Kayla Carter gave a magical performance of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

There’s a showstopping 11’o’clock number from Emma Kingston and a powerful take on World Burn from Kayleigh McKnight – if Mean Girls ever comes to the West End, here’s your Regina.

Kayleigh McKnight and Claudia Kariuki
Claudia Kariuki and Kayleigh McKnight

Other paths we went down saw Lauren Byrne lend her magical vocals to an Anastasia classic and Aoife Clesham’s hilarious History Of Wrong Guys.

Whatever decisions you make throughout the show the concert ends with an encore performance featuring the full cast ensuring you get a glimpse of everyone taking part.

Packed full of standout performances, The Secret Society of Leading Ladies is a groundbreaking online concert you definitely don’t want to miss.


The Secret Society of Leading Ladies runs online via The Barn Theatre from 22 February – 7 March. Tickets are available online here.

Full cast: Jocasta Almgill (& Juliet, Rent, In The Heights, Dreamgirls), Lauren Byrne (Beautiful, Six), Kayla Carter (Rent), Aoife Clesham (Fiver), Allie Daniel (Rent), Abbi Hodgson (Six – NCL), Aisha Jawando (Tina the Musical, Motown the Musical, The Life, Beautiful), Claudia Kariuki (Priscilla Queen of The Dessert, School of Rock, Wicked), Natalie Kassanga (Dear Evan Hansen, Motown The Musical), Emma Kingston (The Last 5 Years, Zorro, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, In The Heights), Kayleigh McKnight (Bend It Like Beckham, Les Miserables, Tina the Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar), Ellie Mitchell (Chicago, Wicked), Jarnéia Richard-Noel (Six) and Kelly Sweeney (Hair, Six).

Creative Team: Ryan Carter as Creative Director & Concept Creator, Leo Munby (The Last 5 Years, Gypsy, Company) as musical consultant, sound engineering by Harry Smith, editing by Ben Evans and videography by Jamie Scott-Smith.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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