Six at the Arts Theatre
“Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived,” chant the ex-wives of King Henry VIII as they make their fiery comeback into 21st-century Europe, vowing to recount their real-life stories the way they know them best, and not how our history books have depicted them. “Remember us from your GCSEs?” they ask, making a point that they are more than just a piece of writing on an academic page. They are revolutionaries. They are queens.
Returning to the Arts Theatre after an entirely sold-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, hit musical Six works wonders, its ingenious premise and timeless approach to feminism giving the West End scene a new lease of life whilst acting as a love letter to womanhood; in the words of strong-willed, independent and self-caring Catherine Parr (Maiya Quansah-Breed), “I don’t need your love”. Though these women have one trait in common – all are married to the former King of England – they are not defined by it.
Blending antiquity with modernity, the show creates the illusion that its spectators are living through two very distinct time frames simultaneously , largely due to the mesmerising costume design of Gabriella Slade – whose delicate choice of fabric revamps the Tudor era and gives it that modern-day glow – as well as the hair and make-up team, who liken each one of the queens to major singers such as Adele, Beyoncé and Ariana Grande, enabling the musical to connect with millennials and a whole new set of fans worldwide. Beautifully written, choreographed and performed, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s Six will be on your mind long after you have left the auditorium. A highly deserved Olivier nominee. Chapeau.
Photo: Idil Sukan
Six is at the Arts Theatre from 5th March until 5th January 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.