Five massive stars is the comment on the girls and the rating of SIX – one of the sassiest, wittiest, hilarious and LOL shows to grace a Glasgow venue.
The show slams a kilo of lemon zest into the word ‘fresh’, displayed by the opening line hollered at the audience ‘Glasgow, make some noise’ which initially feels bizarre and at odds with the grand Victorian-stye interior decor of Glasgow’s Theatre Royal. And so to is the girl band theme and innovative style with the subject matter of the show which makes it all so deliciously ripe.
The premise of SIX is, Henry VIII’s six wives sing their hearts out to reveal who has the saddest life thanks to a king who didn’t quite treat his wives the way a devoting husband should.
The opening song, ‘Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived…’is snappy and a chronological, historically accurate summation of the fate of each of King Henry’s wives – Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherone Parr – there, history lesson over!
Songs with catchy lines like, ‘I’m sorry, not sorry’ which ring throughout the show and Anne Boleyn repeatedly reminding the other girls that losing her head means she should be head and shoulders (sorry) above the other girls in winning the competition, are both moreish. There’s a brilliant ‘in da house’ style strobe light rave number by Shekinah McFarlane who plays Anna of Cleves with the comical lyrics, ‘you said I tricked you, cos you said I didn’t look like my profile picture’ where she sends up how she looks in her German accent. Katherine Howard, played by Jodie Steele, plays the sexy maiden to perfection but I couldn’t really single out any of the girls as they were all equally brilliant.
A whole gamut of cheerful reaction to the humourous quips, acting and lyrics was reached by the audience. I too, laughed, giggled, sniggered and was wowed by the incredible singing and song range, the ambitious dance choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille which would rival Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande or Dua Lipa’s routines and the award-winning acting.
It’s billed as ‘…Tudor wives to pop princesses, the queens are going on tour!’ and it’s a tour de force for sure.
The genius writers are Cambridge University graduates Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss (Lucy also directed SIX with Jamie Armitage) who began writing the show back in 2017 for CUMTS (you read it right!), the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society.
They decided to use a pop concert-style show to display the ‘silliness and campness of the genre…remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st century girl power.’
The show follows acclaimed success at the Edinburgh Fringe last year and this year it won Best Musical at the prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards. It’s extremely minimal set with four piece live girl band, reveals just how talented the actresses are to shine without props.
It’s comedy and gig nirvana and ticks every box – like being entertained by your favourite singers/band who are simultaneously doing some stand-up with a bit of bump and grind and a whole lot of attitude courtesy of Sam Smith, Rihanna and The Greatest Showman-style songs.
Looking forward to the film version which I’m sure will be in the not too distant future.
Total winner. xox
SIX is running at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal from now until Sunday 10th November and at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on Tue 4 – Sun 9 Feb