Kelly Sweeney | The Secret Society of Leading Ladies
Alan Koolik
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March 5, 2021 7:00 PM

The Barn Theatre, based in Cirencester, is breaking the mold for virtual theatre yet again with their production of The Secret Society of Leading Ladies. Part concert, part choose-your-own-adventure, this short performance packs a punch that will undoubtedly leave audiences satisfied. What sets this apart from traditional theatre, even in this virtual age, is the role each audience member plays in shaping the course of the evening. 

When you log into your performance, you are given the choice of which performer’s song you want to hear. This happens four more times throughout the night, and the five unique solos shown to only you are capped off by a finale featuring all fourteen actresses. It would take three repeat viewings to fully capture the talents of each of the featured performers, but there are over a hundred unique paths a show can take.

With a mix of classic and contemporary song selections, there is bound to be something that everyone will enjoy. The talented performers (Jocasta Almgill, Lauren Byrne, Kayla Carter, Aoife Clesham, Allie Daniel, Abbi Hodgson, Aisha Jawando, Claudia Kariuki, Natalie Kassanga, Emma Kingston, Kayleigh McKnight, Ellie Mitchell, Jarneia Richard-Noel, Kelly Sweeney) each brought something unique to the table, and the finale, with a taste of the nine singers you missed, will leave you wanting to come back for more. 

Conceptualized and creative-directed by Ryan Carter, with musical consulting by Leo Munby, the evening, with all its twists and turns, felt fluid and intentional, which is a testament to how much planning went into the creative choices made. The technical aspects were no mean feat, with videographer Jamie Scott-Smith, editor Ben Evans, and sound engineer Harry Smith more than pulling their weight for a flawless experience. 

The Secret Society of Leading Ladies runs through March 7, and tickets are available here.

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Alan Koolik

Alan is currently completing a masters degree in business analytics at the University of Warwick, outside London. Prior to this, he was an analyst for Jujamcyn Theaters and an off-Broadway producer. While an undergraduate at Columbia University, he was on staff for the student newspaper, the Spectator.