Six The Musical: Quays Theatre, the Lowry
Writers: Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss
Directors: Lucy Moss & Jamie Armitage
Reviewed for Opening Night.
It was just a month ago that the Spice Girls announced a series of comeback gigs that seemingly sent the music world into frenzy: Girl Power was back and back with vengeance. However, way before Girl Power, we had Queen Power in the form of Six, strong, powerful ladies who just so happened to be married to the same man.
With the exam-aiding rhyme ‘ Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived’ coursing through your brain from the outset, Six bursts into life with the vibrant, ballsy opener Ex-Wives where we are introduced to our six monarchs: Aragon (Jarneia Richard –Noel), Boleyn (Millie O Connell), Seymour (Natalie Paris), Cleves (Alexia McIntosh), Howard (Aimie Atkinson) and Parr(Maiya Quansah-Breed). This certainly sets the tone for the evening, big tunes, ostentatious costumes and some sublime performances.
The premise for the show is a simple one: the women want to step out form the shadow of their husband Henry VIII, with each of them convinced that their story is more interesting than their counterparts. The only way to find out who is the ‘Queen Bee’ is for each one to tell their story and let the audience decide.
Writers Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss have created a modern masterpiece. Songs weave historical facts with smart, cutting and cheeky lyrics. The show is a hybrid of traditional musical and huge stadium concert, marrying the two together whilst at the same time sending them up in the process. The pair poke fun at X Factor, whilst making some serious points about the media trying to divide strong females instead of encouraging unity.
The all-female cast are on fabulous form, with each of them getting their moment in the spotlight. All the ladies demonstrate their huge talent by singing in various styles and drawing inspiration from artists such as Beyoncé, Lily Allen, Adele, Britany Spears and Alicia Keys to name but a few. They are supported by a great backing band who perform a wide range of musical genres, from hip-hop, to German techno, with some unique interpretations of Greensleeves thrown in for good measure.
Stand out songs are the brilliant and bizarre German electro pop ditty, Haus of Holbein, and the catchy Anne of Cleves solo Get Down. However, it’s not all fun and frolics as the Katherine Howard led All You Wanna Do takes the show into a very dark place, making comments about sexual abuse and the #metoo movement and is subtly and beautifully performed by Atkinson.
This is a fun, entertaining show filled with glitz, glamour and plenty of attitude, with more than a razors edge to it. Whilst sisters may be doing it for themselves, isn’t it better when they unite because in this case Six heads are better than one, even if two of them have been chopped off!
4 1/2 Stars
Six The Musical is at the Lowry Quays Theatre until 16th December. Tickets available: