I have written about Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’ Six before back in 2018 and it is still a show I am immensely fond of, from its original run at the Arts Theatre, a brief flirt with Lyric Theatre, a delayed Broadway run and now in its new permanent West End home of the Vaudeville. (It is also concurrently touring across the UK and Ireland)
I like SIX because it is short, the costumes look amazing, it focuses on female talent from the six leading queens to the backing band and it has a range of songs and talent rarely seen in many musicals. The new home doesn’t improve on a show that not only has a loyal fanbase, who ensured success spread via word of mouth, but is constantly gaining new fans.
The Queens include a mix of established performers like Jarneia Richard-Nioel and Natalie Paris as Aragon and Seymour, who have been with the show since the beginning, Danielle Steers who might be best known for Bat Out of Hell but has claimed the role of Parr and new performers Bryony Duncan, Cherelle Jay and Zara McIntosh who bring unique takes to Boleyn, Cleves and Howard respectively. SIX’s original soundtrack is such strong showcase of the original performers that I feel for any actress taking it on and not sounding exactly like the original.
SIX’s strength isn’t in its songs but in its humour as it looks as the state of patriarchy and power of monarchy for a man to summon and dismiss these women and history’s obsession with their tragic marriages and lives. It starts off as a battle for their own supremacy but evolves into a tale of sisterhood and giving these women, best known as portraits, their own personalities not just through song.
If you haven’t seen SIX then do believe the hype, it is a fun 90 minutes with some great songs and will have its own place in history as a female-led show that can get in everyone.
Sing-along performance is scheduled for 23 January 2022