Divorced, beheaded, died—we all know how it goes. But the six wives of Henry VIII are fed up of being ‘just one word in a stupid rhyme’. In Six: The Musical, they take to the stage to tell their own stories, through the medium of majestic pop songs.
It’s been dubbed ‘Hamilton for the 16th century’, but Six is a historical retelling like no other. It takes to task musical theatre’s typically weedy or one-dimensional female roles—which even Lin-Manuel Miranda seems unable to steer entirely clear of. Instead, the Tudor queens emulate the queens of pop: Catherine of Aragon, for instance, is unmistakably inspired by Beyoncé.
Six started life in 2017 as a student production at the Edinburgh Fringe. The brainchild of two Cambridge University students, Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow, the show garnered five-star reviews before having its professional debut in London in the autumn of that year, touring the country and eventually landing a spot on the West End. At the same time, Marlow and Moss were respectively starring in and directing the five-star musical 'extravaGAYnza' Hot Gay Time Machine—and their careers show no sign of slowing down.
Since arriving in London, Six has been nominated for an apt six WhatsOnStage awards—a crowning achievement to which 24-year-old Marlow responded with a tweet: 'That feeling when u write ur dissertation on @HamiltonMusical at uni, then a year and a half later ur own musical is nominated alongside it for ‘Best New Musical’.. wtf.' The rapid ascendance of the show and all involved is impressive, and for audiences it's refreshing to see theatre that revels in its youthfulness in a scene that's dominated by West End elders.
|What||Six: The Musical, Vaudeville Theatre|
|Where||Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
29 Sep 21 – 01 May 22, Performance times vary
|Website||Click here to book|