16 Jan

SIX ****
BY Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss
This terrific Feminist Rock musical is simply six girls with stunning voices singing about their characters. The ex wives of Henry 8th.
The show begins as each girl introduces herself with
Divorced, Beheaded, Died
Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.
These are strong women – just as they wouldn’t have been when they were under the thumb of the Gross Monarch. They all protest that he loved them – except of course for Ann of Cleves who he divorced as soon as he met her because she didn’t resemble the picture that Holbein had painted of her. But the part gives the super wonderful Genesis Lynea an enormous opportunity to set the world on fire with her great numbers. First of all The Germanic House of Holbein and then her big solo I’m the Queen of the Castle as she makes a happy life for herself without the love of the ‘Dirty Rascal’ as she calls His Majesty.
All the girls have super voices and all have a chance to shine. Renee Lamb sets the ball rolling as Catherine of Aragon who put up with all his mistresses until Anne Boleyn (Christina Modestou) who Henry married after that first divorce. Boleyn was probably the most famous of his wives but she could not produce a son and became number two ex wife when she was beheaded. ‘What is the cure for a broken heart?’ was the question ‘A severed head ‘ is the answer. Jayne Seymour (Natalie Paris) with whom he had a loving relationship – she got a ballad to sing – but she managed to produced a son, but dies in the process. Anne of Cleves came next, but she was unsuitable as her face didn’t fit. Katherine Howard was vry young and the King was pretty old and diseased. No wonder she looked elsewhere and got the chop. It was up to Catherine Parr (Izuka Hoyle) to be his final Queen and she stuck it out until he died and she survived.
The music by George Styles is a great part of the show and the girls all in modern dress sand up a storm. Lotte Wakeham as director and Cressida Carre as Choreography work the cast well. And they are highly musical.
My problem with the show is the sound in the Arts Theatre, which is not kind to the dialogue which I believe is quite witty, but is not heard very well at the back of the stalls. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had been in a better position.
Apart from this, the girls don’t put a foot wrong. They deliver the Politics and the History Lesson with equal energy and the show is greeted with screams of delight by the mostly youthful audience.

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