SIX is a phenomenon. It started life as a student show, and now it’s packing theatres round the globe.
It brings new audiences in. It’s super clever. It’s full of unrelenting energy, colour, music and light.
It takes a new look at the familiar story of the six wives of Henry VIII and it has the gravitas of historian Lucy Worsley to back up its conclusions. Don’t judge the SIX by the popular attitudes distilled from the writings of historians through the ages, but see them from a 21st century and historically informed, perspective. They are much more than “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.”
If that sounds a bit serious, think of it as a manufactured girl band whose bright members create a concept album and a show to support it.
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss devised the show that has taken QUEENDOM (lots of things in CAPITAL LETTERS here) to a new level, just as our own dear queen suffers very public 21st century partings and betrayals.
Audiences even dress as the QUEENS when they come to see SIX, like a latter-day Rocky Horror Show. Squealing is all but compulsory.
You can’t get away from the fact that SIX is spectacular, each QUEEN taking her musical inspiration from recent and current pop divas. The costumes, designed by Gabriella Slade, have hints of the Tudor magnificence we know from the portraits, each underlining the characteristics of their wearer-QUEENS.
On Tuesday at Bath, Jennifer Caldwell stepped into the shoes of Maddison Bulleyment to play Ann Boleyn, and a sensational job she did of it, with probably the most catchy song, Sorry Not Sorry, whose QUEENspiration is Lily Allen and Avril Lavigne.
Lauren Drew is the imperious Catherine of Aragon, Lauren Byrne is the soulful Jane Seymour, Shekinah McFarlane is a hilariously raunchy Anna Cleves, Jodie Steele is the misunderstood sexpot Katherine Howard and Athena Collins is the under-appreciated Catherine Parr.
You will only get returns or standing room at Bath, and judging by the audience member who left the theatre with us saying she would be booking for every night at the show’s run in Bristol, you had better book quickly.
SIX returns to Bath in October, and comes to Southampton, Plymouth and Bristol on this tour. Contact the theatres for more details.