Henry's wives are back with a vengeance

SIX The Musical is now running at The Vaudeville Theatre on The Strand

SIX The Musical is now running at The Vaudeville Theatre on The Strand - Credit: Pamela Raith

Henry VIII's ex wives may have decamped to a new venue, but they still have belting songs and lashings of attitude.

What started as a University music soc project has blossomed into a global juggernaut with productions in New York, the West End and soon Australia.

But Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow's clever mix of sassy pop, tongue in cheek wit, and reclaimed Her-story, packaged into a slick 90 minutes, is a jewel in any crown.

Couched as a singing battle between the monarch's paramours, each steps up to offer a musical despatch from the patriarchal frontline in a bid to see who suffered worst under his capricious desires.

Cathy Aragon's 'NoWay' to stepping aside is followed by a cheeky, winking 'sorry, not sorry' from Anne Boleyn (Cherelle Jay.) While Jane Seymour's Unbreakable is a heartfelt power ballad about never seeing your child grow up, Haus of Holbein mingles German electro-pop and a fair bit of booty shaking as the artist's painting of Anne of Cleves is compared to a Tinder swipe right.

SIX the Musical Courtney Bowman (Anne Boleyn) with (l to r) Danielle Steers (Catherine Parr)

SIX the Musical Courtney Bowman (Anne Boleyn) with (l to r) Danielle Steers (Catherine Parr) Jarnéia Richard-Noel, Alexia McIntosh Natalie Paris Sophie Isaacs. - Credit: Pamela Raith

While there is plenty of bants about losing your head, Catherine Howard's (Sophie Isaacs) All You Wanna Do is a chilling take-down of under-age grooming by older men, wrapped in an enticing slice of r'n'b. And Hana Stewart's savvy Catherine Parr sings of frustrated love and stymied intellect as she's forced to nurse the ageing king.

Frustrated at being historically defined by their faithless ex, the Queens abandon their in-fighting to unite as pop band MegaSIX - even suggesting that Henry's own fame rests on their stories.


Alexia McIntosh as Anna of Cleves in SIX the musical at The Vaudeville Theatre - Credit: Pamela Raith

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You'll still leave arguing about who is your favourite Queen - mine was Alexia McIntosh's jubilant Anna of Cleves, mock disappointed to be despatched to a life of luxury as 'king of the castle' with no controlling husband to push her around.

While never taking itself too seriously, this glittery alt-history pop show gives a voice to voiceless women and shines a light on female experience. A tale for our times. 4/5 Stars.

Until further notice at The Vaudeville Theatre, Strand.


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