Six the musical is touring the UK, which I saw at the Regent Theatre. This joyous, upbeat musical pushes the six wives of Henry VIII into the spotlight, and the queens battle it out to see who the biggest victim was. Written by Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow, the question is asked: were the queens of King Henry famous for being his wives, or was Henry famous because of them?
Directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, this show was filled with energy and sass, and I was taken aback by the exceptional voices of the leading ladies, played by - for my showing - Chlöe Hart (Catherine of Aragon), Jennifer Caldwell (Anne Boleyn), Natalie Pilkington (Jane Seymour), Grace Melville (Anna of Cleaves), Rebecca Wickes (Katherine Howard) and Alana M Robinson (Catherine Parr). Supported byt the all-female band, the queens sang with passion and sentiment, my favourite vocal performance being that of Chlöe Hart, who’s voice was astounding. Each individual performance also discussed the history of the six wives very well too, and I think the historical element made the production all the more enticing as their stories were mainly true. For example, Rebecca Wickes’ portrayal of Katherine Howard gave the right amount of cheek to the character, whilst slowly providing the sad reality of the sexualisation she endured. Personally, knowing this actually happened made me feel even more sympathetic for the character.
Six was an entertaining performance for all; the audience were engaged with throughout and the audience responded back. Mainly a comedic play, the jokes delivered offered amusement for the audience and created a lively atmosphere in the theatre. Whilst (in my opinion) some of the jokes didn’t land, I spent a lot of the show laughing, either from songs such as ‘Haus of Holbein’ or quips from characters, my favourite being Anne Boleyn. I know this might be a basic choice, but I thought Anne’s lines were some of the funniest in the performance, delivered well by Jennifer Caldwell. The character was cheeky yet sweet and amusing throughout.
Despite the humour being most prevalent, the show ended on a resonating, positive message, where the queens decide to stop comparing themselves to each other and rewrite their own stories, without the influence of Henry. I thought this offered a satisfying conclusion to the story and left me thinking about the continuing part the wives play in the fame of King Henry.
One of the best parts of the production was the costume design, done by Gabriella Slade. I thought the costumes were the perfect way of mixing the tudors with the modern, pop-appeal of the show. I also loved the individual touches, such as how Anne Boleyn’s costume was green to hint at ‘Greensleeves’. Each costume was cleverly done, and I think that without this, the show wouldn’t have been as effective.
I would highly recommend Six. It’s a musical that doesn’t take itself too seriously and left the audience enjoying every minute. It is purely a fun musical that features some important messages, interesting facts and women that are beyond talented. As it is touring the UK, I would suggest getting tickets if it is coming to a place near you.