3 Sep

By Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss

At the Arts Theatre

Divorced, Beheaded, Died
Divorced, Beheaded, Survived
THE MUSICAL SIX is something else. It is perfect. It has everything. A terrific feminist rock musical. The six ex-wives of the gross Monarch Henry 8th tell their own stories.
It seems to have taken the world by surprise. It is like nothing else in the West End with a packed, ecstatic house, cheers and applause throughout.
These ten women on stage simply don’t put a foot wrong with the music, the singing, the high energy dancing, and four excellent musicians.
The girls who play the six queens are powerhouses. They dance like athletes and with super voices belt out their numbers like pop singers. Each is a star in her own right. The scripts is full of wit and each girl delivers her lines with enthusiasm and perfect diction. There is no holding back they have great projection and always make sure that the audience is recognized.
The ladies tell their stories, with enormous good humour, the main joke being a competition on which of them had the worst time. Hence the repeated DIVORCED(Catherine of Aragon (handy that Aragon rhymes with Paragon) played by Jarneia Richard-Noel. And Anna of Cleves (Alexia McIntosh); BEHEADEDed, Anne Boleyn (Millie O’Connell) and Catherine Howard (Aimie Atkinson); DIED Jane Seymour (Natalie Paris) and SURVIVED Catherine Parr (Maiya Quansah-Breed) .
Each has their own chance to plead their case, but nobody really cares about who wins. What is so good is that they are all telling their own story, They are not just appendages of a bullying monarch, they are real people in their own right. A good feminist stance!
Production values are now extraordinary. I saw this show last December when it had a try out at the Arts and I was very impressed. Now with the extremely stylish costumes by Gabrielle Slade, brilliant setting by emma Bailey and most particularly the stunning lighting effects by Tim Deiling and the amazing band Katy Richardson, Alice Angliss, Amy Shaw and Terri De Marco,the whole production is unsurpassable. Not a single thing to criticise. Direction by the authors and amazingly varied choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille.
When I saw it before I had a problem with the sound. I think there might be a deaf spot in the theatre. But from my perfect seat in the fifth row of the stalls there was no problem with the sound at all.

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