***** 5 Stars
“ history defining, rule breaking, pop odyssey of a musical “
When two unknown writers, who had never written anything musical in their lives put pen to paper and delivered “Six” to the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe could they have foreseen just how epic their creation would become? Well Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss history brought to life story backed by an epic pop score has come home to Edinburgh for a sell out run at the Festival Theatre and it’s a pure theatrical treat.
Six is a pop concert revue show that takes us inside the lives of the six wives of King Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon (Lauren Drew), Anne Boleyn (Maddison Bulleyment), Jane Seymour (Lauren Byrne), Anne of Cleves (Shekinah McFarlane), Katherine Howard (Jodie Steele) and Catherine Parr (Athena Collins).
The joy of this show is that its nothing to do with Henry VIII but the woman who shaped his life, its ultimately a tale of empowerment, one of which that’s more potent given that even in today’s modern world, there simply isn’t enough strong female roles available. Six more than makes up for it with its stellar cast. These are performances that transcend the art form and the cast are universally excellent. That said Lauren Byrne performs “Heart of Stone” with such passion and compassion it literally burns its way into your memory.
Production wise, Six Nails it with fast flowing direction from Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, Sharp and concise Choreography from Carrie-Anne Ingrouille that makes the most of Emma Baileys set design even if the stage is heavily brought in to make it tour able its more than made up for with Tim Deiling’s epic stadiumesk lighting design. Credit also to Paul Gatehouse’s sound design that brings the concert feel very much to life.
Creatively Gabriella Slade remarkable and award worthy costume design is the element that blends ancient historical characters into a modern world, think 16th century meeting little mix it a true joy to behold.
Six is currently packing them at the Arts Theatre in London’s west end and is currently totally sold out for its Edinburgh Run with people literally losing their heads trying to beg, borrow or steal a ticket. What truly sets Six apart, is that its so fresh and inventive and for once it truly puts female empowerment at its very heart. Even the band lead by the incredible MD Arlene McNaught proves no man can do with this collection of ladies can.
Six is history defining, rule breaking, pop odyssey of a musical for a new generation of theatre goers than will speak across the generations, its legacy is already in the writing and this is one joyous 80 minutes of theatre you will want to see again and again, sadly for Edinburgh tickets are golden just like the Six Ladies on stage! Good luck trying though!
Six, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Runs until Sunday 9th February for tickets (Returns Only) go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/six-the-musical UK Tour Continues.