Six At Arts Theatre: Theatre Review
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This one feels like a right royal night out. In that long British tradition of making history fun, Six is unique in successfully turning a dusty Tudor chapter into a piece of sassy, pop showwomanship fit for our times. Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s musical imagines Henry VIII's six wives teaming up in a girl band, hitting the stage in 2018 to deliver their side of history — or rather, her-story.
In their vernacular, the King is not only the ruthless ruler familiar from schoolbooks, but a serial bad dater recognisable to the Tinder generation. He is a persistent sender of messages (Anne Boleyn), judgemental of pics (Anne of Cleves), and has a dodgy beard (Catherine Howard).
More seriously, Henry is one in a line of uncontested, manipulative men who live on to this day. Six is out there to change the narrative a little. Fittingly, the classic “divorced, beheaded, died…” ditty gets a much-needed remix. The old-meets-new soundtrack also features a funked-up Greensleeves, and lyrical homages to more contemporary troubadours (Kanye West).
Six is good, and it knows it. There are several self-indulgences, but the magisterial confidence is a reassuring sign that Britain has the talent to rival Hamilton’s hip-hop history. Just make sure you see it before it ends up on the GCSE syllabus.
Six, Arts Theatre, 6-7 Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JB. Tickets £6-39.50, until 14 October 2018.
Last Updated 03 September 2018