When I went: 25 February 2020
Location: Arts Theatre, London
Performers: Jameia Richard-Noel (Catherine of Aragon), Courtney Bowman (Anne Boleyn), Natalie Paris (Jane Seymour), Alexia McIntosh (Anna of Cleves), Sophie Isaacs (Katherine Howard), Danielle Steers (Catherine Parr), Alice Angliss (drums), Amy Shaw (guitar), Terri De Marco (bass)
Creative team: Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow (book, lyrics and music), Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage (co-directors), Carrie-Anne Ingrouille (choreographer), Katy Richardson (musical director), Ellie Verkerk (associate musical director), Kenny Wax, Global Musicals Ltd, George Stiles (producers), Emma Bailey (set designer)
Approximate price: £65
Special points: Cabaret style, breaking fourth wall, compact (no interval)
Best bit: Haus of Holbein / Get Down
If I could change one thing: Fewer dialogue sections
Six is one of those musicals that has already acquired a cult following and will probably break out even further. It is compact (around 75 minutes with no interval) and has plenty of spirit and a bunch of good songs. I’ve already listened to the soundtrack a fair few times since seeing the show, which is a good sign – the lyrics have plenty of wit and the live show has heart as well. I also enjoyed the female 4-piece band (keys, guitar, bass and drums) or ‘ladies in waiting’.
For me, the dialogue sections were less successful; I know they might be there to tell the audience a bit more about the historical background but I found them unnecessary and sometimes verging on too cheesy.
All six queens were fun, sparky and performed really well.
I had seen Courtney Bowman (Anne Boleyn) before as Fatimah in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and her performance of Sorry Not Sorry (a Lily Allen-esque ironic quirky number) was amusingly unapologetic for Anne’s ‘crimes’.
The best songs in my view were Haus of Holbein (a catchy dance number making light of how Henry VIII chose his fourth wife Anna of Cleves based on her portrait) and Get Down (Anna of Cleves’ unashamed revelling in her ‘amazing life’ post-divorce).
I would highly recommend Six if you haven’t seen it; I’m not sure I would go again to the live show, but I’ll probably keep listening to the soundtrack.