Writers: Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss
Directors: Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage
Henry VIII is most known for his notorious relationship record, but the time has come to reclaim history and turn it into her-story. The ex-wives have joined forces to tell the truth behind the Tudor tragedy, and what better way of doing it than with sassy songs and high energy dance routines. Welcome Six to your home, London’s Vaudeville Theatre.
This historically hilarious musical is girl power in full force, less femme fatale, more femme fierce. This cast of queens are incredible; their vocal talents are impeccable, their comedic cues are flawless and their dance moves choreographed by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille are brilliant. Think Spice Girls, revitalised with an educational twist. The onstage chemistry between them works perfectly, and their glitzy period-piece costumes by designer Gabriella Slade are breath-taking – there’s nothing to hVIII about this incredible show.
The musical begins with a competition between the ex-wives to see who suffered the most at the fate of their lothario husband Henry VIII. Each of them takes a solo spotlight telling their version of events. The wonderful Jarnéia Richard-Noel is first up as Catherine of Aragon, smashing the high notes alongside her faultless dance moves, with her snappy, energetic song No Way. Anne Boleyn, played by Courtney Bowman, is probably the most famous ex-wife of the 6, and Bowman does her proud. Feisty and cheeky, her lyrics in Don’t Lose Your Head are full of fun and she executes it (pun intended) with flair.
Slowing down the pace and belting out emotional slow song Heart of Stone is Collette Guitart, playing Jane Seymour, showing the audience that this musical even does the heart-wrenching songs with perfection. Guitart’s vocal range is impressive, and you’ll definitely want to ‘Seymour’ from her. Showstopper Cherelle Jay, playing Anne of Cleves, gets the audience back on their feet with Get Down with one of the funniest, most captivating performances of the evening.
Sophie Isaacs, playing Katherine Howard, performs another girl band style anthem All You Wanna Do’. Although her character was beheaded, thankfully Isaacs manages to keep her fantastic vocal chords and put on an excellent performance. Finishing up the showcase of the wives is Hana Stewart, playing Catherine Parr – the only one to have survived Henry’s romantic reign. Stewart hits the high notes with precision in her belter I Don’t Need Your Love – and is definitely on a ‘Parr’ with her other incredible castmates.
Although two of Henry’s wives were beheaded – it’s clear that writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss had their heads firmly screwed on while creating this masterpiece. This is one of the most informative, exciting and catchy musicals you’ll ever see. The lyrics are extremely witty, placed over a soundtrack and live band that doesn’t fail to get the audience dancing and shimmying around in their seats from the beginning to the standing ovation at the end. Be prepared to learn more about these infamous wives than you did in school!
Closing out the show with the magnificently crafted song Six is a perfect finale in a perfect performance. High energy, big vocals and huge talent – everything about this royal riot ticks every single box. Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded – five out of five.
Runs until 1 May 2022