Six – The Musical at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Six has been one of the shows at the Edinburgh Festival that everyone is talking about, with tickets selling as quickly as haloumi fries extra performances have been added so I was keen to see what the fuss was about.
Six tells the story of Henry the 8ths’ six wives as they regale the audience with their side of the story, explaining just how rough (or not) they had it at the hands of the notorious King.
The show written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Ross is less musical theatre, more pop concert. I mean this in an entirely complimentary way! The cast worked the entire audience like pop diva’s and had the audience literally screaming for them from the opening number.
Whilst the concept is simple it is delivered to perfection. Each ‘Queen’ gets a chance in the limelight with their main number in order to tell their tale. The Queens are made relatable and modern references to social media and even love island are thrown in to keep the audience wanting more. The numbers range from a rave inspired number to more soulful ballads. Despite the wide range in style each number grips the audience and sums up the Queens style instantly.
The cast have every right to be referred to as Queens. They come across as a well polished, highly talented girl group, all with stunning vocals and strong dance moves. As with any girl group you will tend to have your favourite and the fact that there is a diverse cast on the stage really helps this. For example you have the sassy Jarneia Richards-Noel as Catherine of Aragon, Millie O’Connell as the sarcastic, man eater Anne Boleyn and Aimie Atkinson playing the vein Catherine Howard. They are accompanied by a 4 piece band which ramp up the ‘girl power’ manifesto by being all women. They add a real rock vibe to the whole show and help give that concert feel to the show.
The costumes are also an inspired choice. The Queens are dressed in outfits which have a nod to the historical setting but are shorter, skimpier or even made out of plastic. Each costume is slightly different, giving acknowledgement to the Queens individuals personality. Whilst this could sound like outfit choices that detract from the idea of giving women their voice this couldn’t be further from the truth and the Queens own their costumes.
Whilst the audience are having a riot of a time the show always delivers an important message about how women have been silenced in history and how it is about time that this stops. Using the six wives as the carriage to do this is a stroke of genius and the message is wrapped up in a girl power vibe throughout the night.
Six is on at the Underbelly George Square until 27th August. After Edinburgh the show transfers to the Arts Theatre, London and continues its tour from there. To find out more about the show and the rest of the tour visit their website.