SIX

Reviewed by Jodie Crawford

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have felt for a very long time like I was the only person in the world who hadn’t seen this musical. Trust me, I’ve tried, but covid had other plans. My delight when asked to review it was not pretty: it involved much whooping and a little overhelmed sob. But, as the day approached I was little anxious about whether it was going to live up to everything I’d read and heard. Live up to the hype? OMG: lived up to and sky rocketed above any expectations I had. Absolutely outstanding, like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’m going back for more, without a doubt.

A show about women, by women, empowering women, telling the tale of women, but not just for women. I took my 70 year old dad with me and he is equally as excited about this show as I am!
History/herstory, it’s a must see for all.

The show is based on the lives of Henry VIII wives, all six of them. The staging is that of a pop concert where the Queens use songs to compete to prove that they are infact the most important and tragic wife of Henry VIII – there are no set changes, no costume changes, no time off stage for the characters or musicians. What you see is what you get. And what you get is phenomenal. It is no wonder that this has become a global sensation.

So much of our history is dominated by men, and the role of women can often be depicting them as villains or muses or meek and mild. This show is ripping up those history books and reclaiming the stories of these six women. The parallels to modern life, divorces played out in court rooms, the media, the use of social media, is uncanny.



Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss are a force to be reckoned with. The lyrics to the songs are modern, engaging and hilarious and at times very raw and vulnerable. The music is class, melodious, banging, brazen, comical, classical, it’s like nothing I’ve seen before. This show was written by these two, then undergraduate students, and first appeared at the fringe in Edinburgh and tonight it was in the lyric theatre in Salford with the audience on its feet in absolute awe of this show.

And what makes this show the most incredible show I’ve seen is also this dynamic and talented cast. Each “Queen” brings something different, both in character performances and talent.

Catherine Aragon is played by Chloe Hart and this woman took by breath away. She is fearless, sassy and bold in her performance. She was a stand out performer for me and my absolute Queen!

Anne Boleyn is played by Jennifer Caldwell, who is hilarious throughout the entire show, reminding us time and time ago that she was behedded, a fact that entertains the audience again and again. Her performance of “Don’t Lose Your Head” was flawless.



Casey Al-Shaqsy plays Jane Seymour and her note perfect, raw performance of “Heart of Stone” was moving and showed the great vulnerability of a character who often we consider to be the lucky one. Once again showing us that a male narrative of historical events can omit the struggle of women through history.

Jessica Niles plays Anna of Cleves. Her and the company’s introduction to her character through the magnificent number “House of Holbein” is exquisite. It is for me, the cleverest number in the whole production. The fact that her story is told by using online dating sites to help us understand her story is ingenious. Niles’ goes on to deliver a brilliant performance of the number “Get Down” showing us an insight into the life of Anna from a whole new perspective.

Katherine Howard is played by Leesa Tulley, who is magical in her performance of “All You Wanna Do” – it’s very, very Brittney – if not a more polished version! With the Me Too movement this highlighted that it has been a struggle faced by women for centuries – literally!

And our last queen – Catherine Parr played by the mighty Alana M Robinson. The Queen who makes the show stop and reevaluate it’s narrative – bringing together the women to support and empower each other. And all this done while busting some moves and hitting all of the high notes.

Six is the show of the moment and for many many good reasons. This show is helping to cultivate a new intelligent form of theatre for future generations. It is a show that has longevity, that will be talked about over and over, a show that we will encourage each other to go and see, the show we will go and see again and again. All of this because it’s well staged, beautifully and cleverly written and because this cast and the casts before it and the casts that will come after it will engage us and inspire us and educate us. Yes it’s all women but it’s not just for women, it’s a show for all. You might have forgotten what you learnt about Henry at school – you won’t forget about what you learnt about these woman in this show.

SIX is on at The Lowry until Sunday 14th August tickets available here.

SIX The Musical

SIX

Reviewed by Nikki Cotter

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In just two short years SIX the musical has gone from launching at a 100 seater venue at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to preparing to open on Broadway at the 1000 seater Brooks Atkinson Theatre next February. To say the show has been a success is a mega understatement; rarely does a new musical capture the imaginations of the public in quite the way SIX has. With loyal fans eagerly joining the Queendom and social media awash with cosplay costumes and videos of the show’s final number (the megaSix) a second UK tour was inevitable and lucky for us SIX chose to return to The Lowry for a festive six week run.

SIX

The premise although seemingly simple is brilliantly innovative. The Queens until now have been confined to the history books, summoned occasionally when children recite the old ‘Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived’ rhyme; deciding enough is enough the Queens finally find their voices each taking their turn in a lyrical battle in a bid to prove once and for all who really did have the toughest ride at the hands of their infamous husband Henry VIII.

Part pop concert, part staged musical SIX is a fierce and fabulous retelling of history, remixed and reimagined for a whole new generation. Every song is outstanding in its originality and pure genius. Each Queen is offered the opportunity to walk away with the crown allowing every cast member to breathe life, heart, soul and some serious sass into their namesakes. Individually they are uniquely brilliant together they create the ultimate girl band; guiding us through a sisterly retelling of their forgotten stories while poking fun and posturing for the top spot along the way.

SIX

Lauren Drew commands the stage as Catherine of Aragon, statuesque and strong she switches from stone cold serious to super fun with a skilful ease. Maddison Bulleyment has perfect comedy timing as Anne Boleyn even managing to make getting behead get plenty of laughs while Lauren Byrne’s soaring vocals are a real goosebump inducing moment.

Shekinah McFarlane is a joy as Anna of Cleves with bags of sass and the richest of voices while Jodie Steele captures perfectly the lost innocence of Katherine Howard in her heartbreakingly brilliant version of All You Wanna Do.

SIX

At tonight’s performance alternate Harriet Watson takes on the role of Catherine Parr, her crystal clear vocals and genuine warmth more than doing justice to Marlow & Moss’s lyrics.

The diversity of the cast is enormously refreshing to see, while each individual delivers a fully realised, complex character. The wide range of pop influences ranging from Beyoncé to Britney will ensure the melodies stay with you for days while the lyrics give make these historical women much more than ‘just wives’ giving them heaps of personality and depth.

Gabriella Slade’s edgy costume design has a fun, modern feel while Carrie-Anne Ingrouille’s choreography cements the strong girl power vibe.

SIX

SIX hits every mark as a perfect piece of theatre, innovative, uplifting, funny & immensely empowering. If this is what herstory looks like then sign me up now for the school of Marlow and Moss!

You can catch SIX The Musical at The Lowry until Saturday 11th Jan with the extra week added due to phenomenal demanding having the best availability tickets can be found here.

 

Interview| Lucy Moss | Six the Musical

Six 1

Not one but SIX queens are coming to reign over Salford this festive season proving there is much more to each and every one of them than just a forgettable name in an ancient rhyme.

Smash hit musical SIX arrives at The Lowry for a strictly limited 2 week run from Tuesday 4th until Sunday 16th December as the six wives of Henry IIIV take to the stage in a sassy and sensational sisterly retelling of their forgotten stories. Prepare for their feisty and fabulous her-storical her-stories in full, feel-good glittering glory.

Opening Night were lucky enough to catch up with writer Lucy Moss (one half of writing team Moss and Marlow) ahead of the show’s arrival to hear a little more about this infectious production that’s currently taking the theatre world by storm.

Six 2

After meeting at Cambridge University Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow knew pretty quickly they wanted to write a show together; Lucy explained how the disparity of meaty theatrical roles for females was something they thought needed taking on: “In musical theatre particularly the majority of the female songs are about how much the character loves their husband or how sad they are because the man they want to love them doesn’t love them enough. We really wanted to create something that had more interesting and also funnier parts for women, it’s crazy really because it was just created as something for fun and our biggest worry was that our friends would think it was really bad. It’s been so cool it really has.”

Lucy added: The was a slot within the university musical theatre society to take a show to the Edinburgh fridge so Toby applied and came up with the idea of doing a show a bit like a pop concert with microphones and dance routines, I almost never thought it would happen but now we’re here about to go on tour and it’s been incredible.”

Six 3

What is striking (and utterly brilliant) about Six is walking into a traditional theatre setting and seeing an all-female cast accompanied by an all-female backing band, sending out a very strong and positive message to theatre goers, we are in effect seeing the ultimate girlband on stage. Lucy explained: “We really wanted to tell the stories from the women’s perspective rather than it being just about Henry and how they died which is what we’ve all heard before, we wanted to tell more about their lives and their experiences. The message of the show and its growth very much coincided with the #metoo movement so I think the themes felt very relevant to a lot of people when the show first started taking off and it’s just snowballed from there.”

If you think you’ve heard earworms before then you ain’t heard nothing yet, prepare to be humming the SIX soundtrack for the rest of time as each track is as catchy as the last and could give any pop princess a run for her money, Lucy explained: “We definitely based the Queens on different pop divas so for example Catherine of Aragon is based on Beyoncé, Anne Boleyn is based on Lily Allen, Catherine Parr is Alicia Keyes and so on.”

Six 4

As well as being massively entertaining, seriously just wait until you see it, SIX is also impressively educational as each Queen becomes so much more than just a name, we asked Lucy out of all the fierce Queens did she have a favourite? “My favourite Queen’s story is Anne of Cleves because she’s the only one who has a happy ending really, yes she got divorced but she ended up living in this really fancy palace in Richmond, drinking mead, going hunting and outlived every one of them even Catherine Parr who survived, she absolutely lived her best life til the end of her days.”

From starting off as a small fringe production the rise of Six fever really has been incredible. “We had absolutely no idea the show was going to do anything more than the fringe, I was excited then at the thought of somebody maybe coming to see it and inviting us to do one night at a fringe venue in London, that was like, in my wildest dreams and now were here it’s so cool, we’re definitely super hyped to come to the Lowry.”

Six the musical opens at The Lowry on Tuesday 4th December and runs until Sunday 16th December to ensure you have a spectacular Sixmas book your tickets here.