International smash hit musical Six has returned to the Lowry theatre in Salford, telling the tale of Henry VIII’s notorious marital history… through pop songs.
First performed by Cambridge University students at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2017, Six has since ruled the theatre scene with its chart-topping soundtrack and powerful female cast.
West End productions and Broadway shows have garnered rave reviews and Six has been nominated for multiple awards at the Laurence Olivier Awards.
Postponed twice already, the return of the six Queens was long awaited. Queues for the Six merchandise at the Lowry outdid the queue for food twice over.
Groups were singing the songs in the foyer, snapping their fingers and grooving their hips, hyping themselves up to finally see it live. The Six album has reached over 10 million views on YouTube.
The Queens begin on stage with the chilling ‘Ex-wives’, introducing themselves explaining how they are more than ‘just one word in a stupid rhyme’.
Each take centre stage in turns to prove they were the the worst-treated of Henry’s wives, with clever lyrics laying bare Henry’s blatant mistreatment of women and how he got away with it.
It’s historically accurate, but this time it’s herstory – Six is a re-writing of the history books and takes the crown as this year’s musical must-see.
Writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss – masters of comedy – fill the hour and twenty minutes with laughs, catchy lyrics and some home truths about female victimhood and empowerment.
Each wife takes to the stage in a hip-hop, rap, techno, soul, rock battle, fighting for the crown of the worst treated by Henry VIII.
The queens really do sparkle. Gabrielle Slade kills it with her modern glittery take on 18th century dress.
The costumes here are made up of corsets, puffed sleeves, skin-tight trousers, short petit-coats and delicate hair crowns, all topped off with cute heels and biker boots.
All the anthems are girl power to the max. Spice Girls meets Beyonce meets Avril Lavigne meets Little Mix with a Tudor twist.
The performances are slick and flawless. The cast of all-female power icons are set to become musical-theatre giants after Six.
The stars are supported by their ‘Ladies in Waiting’ who are instrumental (excuse the pun) to the performance. Usually, the band sit in the pit of the theatre, but these rock-stars are front and centre jamming on the electric keyboard, drums, bass and guitar.
The performances are wonderfully overwhelming, chills are guaranteed, and tears will well with the uplift of female empowerment.
The crowd at The Lowry become a sea of beaming faces and pumping fists, with a standing ovation and cheers of ‘encore’ echoing long after the music dies.
The play spins GCSE history into a much more entertaining experience, filled with glittery corsets and banging break-up anthems.
Teach your children the right version of history and go and watch Six – we cannot wait to see it again.
Six sexy ex-wives give you their take on the infamous stories that have defined them for centuries, and Henry VIII gets what he’s had coming for him… a revenge musical.
It’s on it’s 2021 tour – so grab your tickets online here.
‘Please help’ – plea to save one of Manchester’s oldest theatres as beautiful building falls into disrepair
A fresh appeal and Crowdfunder has been launched to try and save one of Manchester’s oldest and most beautiful theatre buildings.
The Hulme Playhouse Theatre and the Nia Centre are at risk of closing down once again as both the list of repairs and the cost of living rise.
The venue, used now as a community hub and events space operated by NIAMOS, is in ‘desperate need of repair’ and they need to raise £50,000 for the urgent work.
Without it, it’s feared that the ‘cold and leaking’ building could be lost forever and ‘another cultural institution could be turned into flats’.
At present, the historic Grade II-listed building doesn’t have a heating system, and winter has brought new pressures.
NIAMOS, a group of local residents and community volunteers, say they want to ‘honour the important legacy of this renowned venue’.
The beautiful building in Hulme was first opened in 1902 and is one of only two remaining W. H. Broadhead theatres.
At one time, Broadhead owned an empire of theatres, and designed the space to resemble a factory from the outside, hoping to help working class audiences in Manchester feel at home.
In 1956, the BBC took over and turned it into BBC Soundstage North, where The Beatles’ first-ever live radio performance was broadcast from.
Then the legendary Nina Simone opened it theas The Nia Centre in 1991, becoming the first African and Caribbean-led theatre in Europe.
The cultural significance of this building really can’t be overstated, and the NIAMOS team are desperate to save it.
They said in their Crowdfunder: “Our mission is to preserve the heritage of the Nia Centre and Playhouse Theatre, by keeping the building and the Arts it facilitates accessible to all communities, all ages and capabilities.”
NIAMOS’ message continued: “We need help to be able to keep all the incredible projects that happen in the building going and make sure the space stays open as a hub for the Hulme community and beyond! We need to honour the important legacy of this renowned venue, still independent in the heart of Manchester, and not let another cultural institution be turned into flats.
“We want to make sure the building stays open as much as possible over winter and improve the equipment that local and young artists have access to through us, including music production, sound and lighting engineering, arts workshops, film and media production and acting classes.
“The building is in desperate need of repair and a heating system which we currently do not have at all! Alongside all of this, the running costs of the building and the rising cost of living mean we are under pressure this winter.
“We rely on volunteer support to run and host events for our community and our voluntary members have worked extremely hard to keep the building afloat, but our members cannot give as much of their time as we need and with the challenge of a cold and leaking building we are in need of help to save this space from closing down!!
“When the current directorship took over the running of the building they also took on significant debts, this has meant we have been two steps forward and one step back. Despite all the hard work of the people who have been running the space voluntarily we need help over the quieter winter months.
“We need to stay open long enough to apply for further funding bids, including long term support from the Heritage Lottery fund, as we are a grade II listed building. We have an amazing programme of events and projects we want to put on this year that will build on sustaining us financially and provide opportunities for community artists and creatives.
“Keeping this building open and functional is of great importance for Hulme and the surrounding areas communities; we need your help! Developing heating solutions and doing necessary repairs in the building will enable us to stay open during the colder months and help us with our aim of making the building more conscious and sustainable.