Words: Simon Button; pictures: Pamela Raith
You can’t keep a good bunch of queens down for long!
The sensational Six was one of the first shows to reopen after the relaxation of government restrictions, moving from the rather pokey Arts Theatre to the vaster Lyric before settling into its new home at the somewhere-in-between Vaudeville.
And judging by the audience reaction at this week’s press night, love for this sensational musical-concert hybrid about the six wives of Henry VIII hasn’t dampened a bit.
I was late to the Six-party, only catching up with it in 2019 after it premiered to rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and even raver ones in the West End that same year. But I’m often unfashionably late to a party and what a magnificent bash this one is.
Co-creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss (of Hot Gay Time Machine fame) hit on the clever concept of telling the story of Henry’s wives through a female gaze, with an all-girl band and not a single fella, Henry or otherwise, anywhere on stage. Talk about being ahead of the conversational curve!
As I wrote previously, it’s like seeing Little Mix joined by a couple of Spice Girls sassing their way through catchy-as-hell songs with OMG-brilliant lyrics, LOL references, and red-hot dance moves, vying to be the most deserving of the audience’s love before deciding that sisterhood trumps everything else.
Their backstories are filled in by brilliant compositions pastiching everyone from Destiny’s Child to Girls Aloud via big ballads and a bit of German techno as they strut around the stage badmouthing Henry and each other decked out in Renaissance chic.
You need an extraordinary cast to pull it off and the new cast - sashaying across a larger set with a beefier sound system and better lighting - is extraordinary indeed. Let’s raise a glass of sass to all of them: Jarneia Richard-Noel, Courtney Bowman, Natalie Paris, Alexa McIntosh, Sophie Isaacs, and Danielle Steers.
Sisters doing it for themselves again. Take a bow, girls.
Six is at the Vaudeville Theatre, London. For great deals on tickets and shows click here.
The Attitude December issue is out now.