Six (UK Tour), The Lowry, Salford | Review

Six The Musical

13/12/18
The Lowry, Salford
Reviewed by Mia Goddard
★★★★★
Remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st century, SIX turns Tudor queens into pop princesses. Tired of being defined by their husband, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr take to the stage to tell “her-story”, singing and dancing up a storm as they each give their version of events of living with the infamous King. It isn’t long before a competition emerges, each Queen taking to the mic to share her misery of being married to Henry VIII through a song. All of the cast are excellent here, fully embodying the spirit of the modern pop queens.  
Jarneia Richard Noel shines as Catherine of Aragon bringing a BeyoncĂ© style pop to the show. The solo track ‘No Way’ reclaims her voice and anger towards Henry VIII, which is something that would have been impossible for a woman to express back in the 1500’s but made possible during this 75-minute concert.
Millie O’Connell’s hillarious portrayal of Anne Boleyn is outstanding with her eye rolling and strutting about the stage as she belts out her catchy Lily Allen style number ‘Don’t Loose Ur Head’.

“It didn’t matter how many stupid things he did. I was there, by his side,” interjects Natalie May Paris’s Jane Seymour, wearing her heart-break on her sleeve in a beautiful ballad that makes the hairs on the back on your neck stand up.
Alexia McIntosh is equally sassy as Anne of Cleves, her Rhianna-inspired queen going down a storm with the audience. 
Confident queen Katherine Howard played by Aimie Atkinson taunts the others with her beauty before revealing that all of the previous men in her life, including Henry, used and abused her explained in her song ‘All You Wanna Do’ showing her outstanding vocals.
As the production nears the end, the message of feminism and equality between the queens becomes clearer after Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife, played by Maiya Quansah-Breed finishes up the singing battle with another slow tempo song, ‘I Don’t Need Your Love’  performed with stunning vocal ability, about how she doesn’t need Henry’s love to survive in the world. 
The six wives’ realisation that they are better as a ‘girl band’ rounds up the message that girls should be taught to boost each other, rather than compete against each other.
While this isn’t exactly an accurate history lesson, SIX doesn’t pretend to be. This show is a fun and powerful pop concert told by six strong independent women. Creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss have successfully dragged the dull and dowdy view of Henry VIII’s wives forward 500 years in a wonderful way, providing a different perspective on the six queens separate from their status as wives.