East AngliaMusicalReview

Six – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Reviewer: Lu Greer

Writer: Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow
Director: Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage
Choreographer: Carrie-Anne Ingrouille

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. We all know the rhyme, but have you ever paused to consider that it reduced six queens to just a single word each? The ladies of Six are here to show you loudly, brashly, and unapologetically, just what a mistake that was.

Six, which started off at the Edinburgh fringe has already taken the theatre world by storm by picking up a string of awards and a considerable cult following along the way, now rolls into Norwich. The one act show, which is somewhere between a pop concert and a stage show, introduces us to each of the wives as they compete to show who had the worst time of it married to the infamous Henry through a combination of powerhouse songs, witty asides, and a whole lot of sass. It is impossible in this show to point to a standout performance, with each of the performers bringing something unique to their characters from incredible vocals to perfectly timed one liners. The Ladies in Waiting (the house band) are a perfect accompaniment to this and a formidable force in their own right.

The lyrics and the banter are written to perfection, with so many Tudor puns in the songs you can barely catch them all. What is impressive here, is that the catchy pop tunes also develop the characters. Katherine Howard’s (Izi Maxwell) solo could easily have been a cute, Britney-esque bop but instead gives us character development and reminds us to question everything history tells us about these queens.

While there is talent aplenty on display, Six has points to make, and the women on the stage intend to make you sit up and listen. At the core of the show is the notion that history books are only telling us one side of the story, that we listen to the apparent accomplishments of men while the women are reduced to a single word. And hand in hand with this goes their second point, that women are stronger together. The show brings back a Girl Power we’ve all been missing to remind us that we are more powerful united, we can accomplish anything, and we can write our own history.

After all, what do you remember Henry VIII for, his reform policy? No. It’s all about the wives.

Runs Until: 21 May 2023

The Reviews Hub Score

loudly, brashly, and unapologetically brilliant

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The Reviews Hub - South East

The South East team is under the editorship of Nicole Craft. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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