Six The Musical at Norwich Playhouse told the stories of the wives of Henry VIII in a spectacularly sassy fashion as they were divorced, beheaded and live! It was a fantastic performance more akin to a pop concert than a musical.
As the curtain rose, the six queens appeared on stage in fabulous outfits that would make Gaga green with envy. They were competing against each other in a Ru Paul’s Drag Race style competition to be the leading lady. The one who suffered the most hardship at the hands of Henry would win.
Each queen told her tale in a high-octane performance showcasing their impressive vocal range and hilarious catchphrases. They tried to one-up each other in a slightly tongue-in-cheek, woe-is-me style contest, attempting to pull at the audience’s heartstrings. Sandwiched between the third (Seymour) and fourth (Cleves) was a side-splitting German techno rave which showed Henry choosing his next wife from Hans Holbein’s portrait – tinder style. One of many highlights of the piece.
In a rather poignant moment, they realised that they were more than the man they were married. They stopped their squabbling and competitive storytelling and performed the empowering ‘Herstory’. It was an important reminder that as women we should be supporting, not competing with each other.
Six was an incredibly emotive and empowering musical. It reminded us of the sad fact that women are often written out of history never having their real stories told. Despite that, there was an overwhelming sense of positivity and girl power throughout (seriously…the Spice Girls would be proud!) I left the theatre feeling like I could simultaneously take on the world and fall down an internet hole researching who these incredible women really were.
Yes, this is a funny, upbeat and fabulously sassy musical but like any great piece of art, it was more than just that. It was so well written, relevant and thought-provoking. There were so many different ways you could read into the story and so many pop culture nuances you could pick up on. It’s the kind of show that addictive – you want to see it again and again. I’m sure you’d notice something new or hear a different tale each time. You’ll leave feeling like you can take over the world and rebelliously disregard everything history has told you about women. You absolutely have to go and see Six the Musical at Norwich Playhouse, it the best thing I’ve ever seen on stage.
Six the Musical at Norwich Playhouse runs until Sunday 15th July. There’s a 10 pm performance on Friday night. I’d highly recommend booking that and heading to The Playhouse bar for a pint beforehand! It then goes on a UK tour.
You can find the rest of my theatre reviews here.