REVIEW: Six is an empowering pop concert musical full of feminist messages, sassy singalongs and hilarious Tudor queens
PUBLISHED: 12:20 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:20 18 July 2018
Empowering, sassy and with a timely feminist message, ‘Six’ brilliantly remixes the stories of some of history’s most famous women for the 21st century.
Having formed a girl band - with harmonies as strong as Little Mix and charisma like the Spice Girls - each of Henry VIII’s wives gets a chance to change history into ‘herstory’.
From Tudor queens to aspiring pop princesses, each of the ‘Six’ take to the microphone to remix 500 years of historical heartbreak - and the results are hilarious, moving and full of timely hidden messages.
And then there’s the impeccable cast - witty one liners, faultless voices and great periodic costumes - each with contrasting personalities and ways of sharing their side of ‘herstory’: Catherine of Aragon is the first queen up (played brilliantly by Jarneia Richard-Noel), Anne Boleyn (Millie O’Connell) doesn’t let the audience forget that she lost her head, Jane Seymour (Natalie Paris) insists she was the one Henry really loved, Anna of Cleves (Alexia McIntosh) is just happy she’s stayed rich, and Katherine Howard (Aimie Atkinson) is given a cheeky Ariana Grande-style personality while Catherine Parr (played by Maiya Quansah-Breed) delivers the most convincing, down to earth role...
The pop concert musical - from the dynamite songwriting team of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss - is full of massive hits (which should be made into an album in their own right): from an Adele-sized heart-wrenching ballad to sexually-charged Lily Allen-style lyricism via a vocal performance that would rival Beyoncé’s and virtually everything in between, these royal queens are full of sass and attitude.
It’s a simple but effortlessly effective set-up full of modern touches, taking swipes at how our concept of romance has developed over the years - and not necessarily for the better.
Rather than relying on multiple backdrops all the action takes place on a lit up talent show stage - with an impeccable all-female band performing alongside the six protagonists. It proves you don’t need fancy set designs - just a compelling story to tell and believable, likeable characters.
Full of sexual innuendos, Six is undoubtedly the rudest show that’s been on the Cambridge Arts Theatre stage - but it’s made all the more endearing for it.
What’s at the heart of this laugh-out-loud 75 minutes, though, is the feminist undercurrent: why should the six wives only be famous because of the man they married? They’re stronger together, and it’s a message that resonates in society as a whole; especially in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp
With a run at the West End in London just around the corner – August 30 to September 23 to be exact - there’s no doubt it’s going to be a runaway success.
Six is at the Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday July 21. Performances 2.30pm and 7.45pm, running time one hour 15 minutes, with no interval.
Tickets are available via www.cambridgeartstheatre.com or by calling the box office on 01223 503333.
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