Theatre

A royal return to Manchester – Six the Musical at the Lowry, reviewed

Dolly Busby Dolly Busby - 16th December 2021

Divorce, beheaded, died, divorce, beheaded, LIVE!

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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Credit: Johan Persson. (Caitlin Tipping as Jane Seymour, Vicki Manser as Katherine Howard, Lauren Drew as Catherin of Aragon, Maddison Bulleyment as Anne Boleyn, Shekinah McFarlane as Anna of Cleves & Elena Gyasi as Catherine Parr.)

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’.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

Credit: Johan Persson. (Caitlin Tipping as Jane Seymour, Vicki Manser as Katherine Howard, Lauren Drew as Catherin of Aragon, Maddison Bulleyment as Anne Boleyn, Shekinah McFarlane as Anna of Cleves & Elena Gyasi as Catherine Parr.)

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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Credit: Johan Persson.

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.

Read more: Manchester’s winter village Mala target of £15k robbery with ‘entire stock’ stolen

The play spins GCSE history into a much more entertaining experience, filled with glittery corsets and banging break-up anthems.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.