SIX has arrived at the Playhouse in Norwich. And by arrived, we mean A-RRIVED. Catch it now before its run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and return to the West End in September.
Smart, saucy and compelling, with tons of sass, SIX sees the wives of Henry VIII return with a modern twist to tell their story in a fully live musical spectacular that’ll have you tapping and clapping along throughout.
The lead songstresses have serious talent, belting out highly catchy numbers that recount their own personal experience of life with one of England’s most controversial Kings. As a bit of a geek, I adored the clever historical references and wonderfully accurate details delivered over genres of song that moved seamlessly from ballad to rap. The costumes are fabulous (think Tudor garb meets Rocky Horror meets Spice Girls… with a bit of Priscilla… which, to be honest, could sum up the flavour of the show… perhaps with a side of Whitney in Bodyguard mode…)
Despite the show taking on the form of a contest to determine who has the worst time of it (and is hence the Queen Bee), I’d struggle to choose my own personal favourite. Jarneia Richard-Noel is incredible as Catherine of Aragon, who’s up first and commands the stage in a truly regal way, but Alexia McIntosh is hilarious and fabulous as Anna of Cleves. Natalie Paris hits some impressive notes as Jane Seymour, and Aimie Atkinsons’ tale of Katherine Howard, while delivered in a royally upbeat and racy fashion, is actually a little sad when you read between the lyrics and realise what a victim she was of male exploitation. Millie O’Connell is a punky and seemingly remorseless Anne B, channeling the Prodigy’s Keith Flint as she informs us that she’s sorry (not sorry). Finally, Maiya Quansah-Breed adds insight into Catherine Parr (the only Queen to survive her Husband), in an 80s/Tudor hybrid outfit with the self-confidence of Neneh Cherry and the soul of Sadé.
Sounds intriguing? You’ve never seen history like this.
SIX is 75 minutes of Girl Power that I would happily see again and again. By the end you might be thinking ‘Henry who?’ This wonderfully written and performed musical delight firmly puts these Tudor Queens back on the throne.Their story is so much more than the tale of their death. Long may they reign.
SIX is on at Norwich Playhouse now, Wed 11th Jul to Sun 15th Jul: Details and tickets.