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Review: Six The Musical

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Six celebrates the six wives of Henry VIII in the most bombastic, dazzling fashion imaginable. The show deserves every bit of acclaim that it has earned and any audience member will surely see why this smash hit has taken the nation by storm. 

Firstly, the all-female cast of the six singers and the four ladies-in-waiting in the onstage band triumphantly promotes girl power and keeps the energy high throughout the entire production. Their intensity and passion never wane, which is remarkable for such a small cast. Not once did I feel my eyes drifting from the stage. 

Kat Bax on Bass, Shekinah McFarlane as Anna of Cleves & Frankie South on Guitar. Image by Johan Persson courtesy of Capital Theatres

Musically, this show is pitch-perfect. The talented singing and song selection is wonderful. While all the songs are beautifully executed, my favourites were ‘Heart of Stone’ and ‘…All You Wanna Do.’ ‘Heart of Stone’ is a powerful ballad with mascara-stained tears rolling down my cheeks. Jane Seymour (Casey Al-Shaqsy) hits all the notes perfectly, both the high and the low. Her vocals are insane and match the passionate intensity of a devoted lover and mother. After the tenacious sassiness of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour’s vulnerable and powerful lament feels strikingly different. 

‘…All You Wanna Do’ is a hard-hitting song with a strong beat that you cannot help but dance to, and the chorus sounds like a radio Top 100 hit. However, the subject matter of a woman being used by men repeatedly is heartbreaking. Every time Katherine Howard (Jaina Brock-Patel) sings, ‘we have a real connection / I’m sure this time is different,’ it hurts a little more. By the end, the song had a surprisingly poignant and sombre effect. Katherine Howard (Jaina Brock-Patel) manages a perfect mixture between a confidently beautiful temptress and a lonely girl who cannot find real love. She is deceived and played with repeatedly yet remains strong. 

The costumes and set perfectly match the tone of the production. The delightful dresses are glittery, modern, eye-catching, and far from historically accurate. But they have little touches here and there of the Tudor details. The whole production is a fascinating blend of two different eras. The mix of a modern rock battle and historical Tudor creates an entertaining yet educational experience.

Caitlin Tipping as Jane Seymour, Shekinah McFarlane as Anna of Cleves, Elena Gyasi as Catherine Parr, Vicki Manser as Katherine Howard & Maddison Bulleyment as Anne Boleyn. Image by Johan Persson, courtesy of Capital Theatres.

Furthermore, a story that is usually steeped in patriarchal values and often told through the voice of men is reclaimed by its women. The wives gain their voices, and Henry VIII is not even given an onstage role–this is not about him; this is about the women he divorced, beheaded, and mistreated. Ultimately, this modern take on a centuries-old drama ends on a feminist note. 

The actresses undoubtedly deserved the standing ovation and uproarious applause of Saturday night. Six is everything a musical needs to be — musically perfect, clever, and original; I know what Spotify playlist I will be playing on repeat next week. History should always be this fun.

The show runs from the 15th of March to the 26th of March, 2022

Image credit: Caitlin Tipping as Jane Seymour, Vicki Manser as KatherineHoward, Lauren Drew as Catherin of Aragon, Maddison Bulleyment as Anne Boleyn, Shekinah McFarlane as Anna of Cleves &Elena Gyasi as Catherine Parr. Image by Johann Persson courtesy of Capital Theatres