Review: Hit musical Six is a fun-packed feast of historical hilarity on stage in Northampton

Emily-Jane Clark reviews Six at the Royal & Derngate

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 and Elena Gyasi as Catherine Parr (photo: 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 and Elena Gyasi as Catherine Parr (photo: Johan Persson)

For a fun-packed evening of music, laughter and a heavy dose of girl power, I would recommend going to see Six at the Royal and Derngate theatre this week.

This rocking royal treat features all Six of Henry VIII’s wives (Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived!, who are competing to be crowned the Ultimate Queen – to be judged on who suffered the most at the hands of the infamous king.

The Tudor Queens turn into pop princesses and each perform a catchy solo to tell us their stories. Part history lesson, part rock concert, these banging big tunes are backed by super-cool and talented all-female band The Ladies in Waiting.

'I loved every minute' (photo: Johan Persson)

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    The cast were all hugely talented performers, each bringing something different to the show. Vicki Manser provided many of the laughs as Katherine Howard and her solo All You Wanna Do highlighted her how she went from fun flirty girl to a woman fed up with being objectified by men.

    Lauren Drew shone as the host Catherine of Aragon, with killer vocals and engaging stage presence. Shekinah McFarlane had the audience in stitches as Anna of Cleves and Elèna Gyasi (Catherine Parr) gave me goosebumps with her outstanding vocals.

    However, my absolute favourite was the hilarious Maddison Bulleyment who played Anne Boleyn as a likable woman who was ‘sorry not sorry’ about chasing men behind Henry’s back -until it got her beheaded.

    By the end of the show, the wives stop competing with each other and vow to write their own stories. In a satisfying climax, their collective girl power finally puts old King Henry in the shade.

    This award-winning musical, written in just three days by students Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow, features a wide range of musical styles from Adele-style ballads to techno punk and pure pop numbers.

    I loved every minute of this unashamedly loud and proud production that will undoubtedly inspire young girls to be the writers of their own stories, no matter what the patriarchy or society have to say about it!

    * Six runs at the Royal & Derngate until Saturday February 19. Visit royalandderngate.co.uk to book.