“Girl Power is Here, and Here to stay! “
**** 4 Stars
Without a shadow of a doubt the most successful production of the Edinburgh Fringe festival of the last decade has to be Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss written rock and pop opera “Six”. Since its debut in George Square garden’s it has gone on to smash its way through London’s west end, Broadway and now embarks on its second UK tour and has come home once more to Edinburgh for an extended run at the Festival Theatre.
Telling the story of the six wives of Henry VIII performed as a pop concert, the wives ( “Catherine of Aragon”, Chloe Hart, “ Anne Boleyn”, Jennifer Caldwell, “Jane Seymour”, Casey Al-Shaqsy, “Anna of Cleaves”, Aiesha Naomi Pease, “Katherine Howard”, Jaina Brock-Patel and “Catherine Parr”, Alana M Robinson) take turns singing and telling their story to see who suffered the most due to Henry and should, therefore, become the group’s lead singer.
This is an 80 minute history lesson on the emancipation of women and ultimately that together they can empower themselves and each other for the greater good. The truth is no woman should stand in the shadow of man a message that is none more pertinent that through the “Me 2” campaign
This is a guaranteed fabulous night of musical theatre from the outset but this is a new cast to the show, and it’s not quite there yet with missed positioning in the lighting cue’s and oft pitchy notes in the vocals which come across in both group numbers and a few of the solo songs too. Six is known for performers adding vocal adlibs and riff’s a plenty and usually it works and add real bang to the show, with this cast there is one or two moments it feels the riffs are covering for not being unable to pitch onto the written notes easily, it’s a small quibble which will smooth out as this new cast bed into the roles.
Production wise Emma Bailey’s set design while appearing bare delivers in spades especially under Tim Deiling’s all out rock stadium Lighting Design. Paul Gatehouse’s Sound design is epic too especially in its delivery of Tom Curran orchestrations.
The music is everything in this show with the four piece “Ladies in waiting” onstage band delivering the goods with MD Jenny Deacon at the helm.
Following the Covid enforced break, Directors Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage have brought Six back in all its glory and Carrie-Anne Ingrouille’s Choreography is as fresh now as its always been. The cherry on this cake has to be Gabriella Slade’s simply stunning costume design that ensures the ladies sparkle under those lights and truly capture every moment in the spot light.
Six holds a unique place in the musical theatre pantheon as its said women stand in the shadow of the great roles of theatre; this show readdresses the balance and proves that girl power is here and here to stay. With tickets already approaching sell out you better be quick to see the wives in the city where it all began! So embrace the queendom and get to the Festival Theatre now!
Six, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Runs until Saturday 26th March, for tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/six
The production will play the Theatre Royal Glasgow from 14th – 19th June.