Last night saw the most energetic, fast paced, highly charged, sassy piece of musical theatre Derry has ever seen (my opinion). This is ‘Girl Power’ at its finest.
SIX follows the six wives of Henry VIII as they take to the mic to tell their own personal tales,
remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st century girl power.
It’s empowering from beginning to end. It’s a rewriting of history, ‘his story’ and making it ‘her story’. This is musical theatre at it’s finest.
From the start it was fast, loud, fun, enchanting and entertaining. The retelling the story of Henry viii and his six wives as a competition as to who was the favourite, ended with a reconnecting, taking back of the female identity. The sixth wife, Catherine Parr reminds the wives that they are not defined by a man. These ladies are known for their marriage to Henry viii. But the show reassures that they don’t need to be defined by a man. It’s a shot at contemporary feminine independence. Feminine identity.
The cast are an all-female one and the band on stage only add to the chemistry of the show. The Queens bounce of each other.
The show is encouraging women to stand up and be heard. ‘You have a voice’ is repeated a number of times. It’s all about reclaiming your identity and allowing yourself to be heard. And yet it’s a story of history.
I have never been at a show where the audience were actively cheering from beginning to end. Support and appreciation was there throughout from every audience member. Such is the connection between cast and audience. The chemistry seeps out into the auditorium. It’s very present and very real on stage throughout. These gals are not just Queens retelling history, it’s a bunch of friends on stage having fun. And in having their fun, we have fun too.
It’s almost like a love affair between best friends. It’s female comradeship and it doesn’t shy away from the abuse and control over women either. This covers serious issues in a contemporary way and it hits home. The Queens are telling a piece of history and they’re ensuring that history does not get repeated.
There’s some big songs telling the stories of all wives. You can’t help but clap along, tap and join in. I didn’t think the story of ‘divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived’ would work near as well as this, but it just does. It’s rock and roll, it’s pop, entwined with various musical genres explored by each of the wives in their songs. Henry himself never appears, he doesn’t need to. This is about women and taking back control and power.
Choreography was perfection at every turn. Costume design sublime. Dance and song mind-blowing. Female emancipation to the fore.
The show is 80 minutes long and there’s no interval. It really would be the perfect night out. You come out on a high. You’re laughing, smiling, feeling good. You’re empowered. Just go book it today if you haven’t already done so. You really won’t regret it.
Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, SIX is co-directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage,
featuring choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. The design team includes Emma Bailey (Set
Design), Gabriella Slade (Costume Design), Tim Deiling (Lighting Design) and Paul Gatehouse (Sound
Design). The score features orchestrations by Tom Curran with music supervision and vocal
arrangements by Joe Beighton. Musical Director Jennifer Deacon and UK Musical Supervisor Katy
Richardson. Casting is by Pearson Casting. SIX is produced by Kenny Wax, Wendy & Andy Barnes
and George Stiles.
SIX performs at the Millennium Forum from Tues 23rd to Sat 27th August. Tickets are now available
from the Box Office. Telephone 71 264455 or visit https://www.millenniumforum.co.uk/shows/ for bookings. Age