Six the Musical
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Vaudeville Theatre, London
Cast: Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky, Baylie Carson, Claudia Kariuki, Dionne Ward-Anderson, Koko Basigara and Roxanne Couch 

Created by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, prepare to lose your head and experience the Tudor Wives’ lives as they turn back the clock and take to the stage to reclaim their crowns and retell their stories of love, loss and the infamous ex they all have in common.

Last night was the Six the Musical media night, and quite fittingly, marked my 6th visit to the Queendom. I've been a huge fan of Six since it arrived in London in December 2017. However, I've not seen the show live since 2018, so I was very excited to see how the show had progressed, and notice any changes that had been made - as well as celebrating a new cast; of course!

The last time I saw Six was at the Arts theatre and the bigger venue and staging made the whole experience of the show better than I could have possibly imagined. While the intimacy at a smaller theatre is great, their larger home at the Vaudeville seems to be the perfect place for the show. 

I'm sure you already know the story of Six, but if not, it follows the six queens of Henry VIII, as they battle it out to be crowned the greatest Queen. In one of the opening lines, Aragon (McCaulsky) asks us, "Remember us from your GCSEs?" - and of course we do! But these Queens are telling us their version of events, and what really went down. Each queen takes to the stage and highlights (in song) why their life was more traumatic than the rest.

The music was outstanding, as always. The Ladies in Waiting (the all female band of 4) bring the music of the show alive beautifully. One of the reasons that I love this show so much is that the production highlights the importance of the band frequently throughout the show. 

The audience truly came alive during "Don't Lose Ur Head" and "Get Down". The lighting, the staging, the sass; the production is simply perfection. The humour and light that is brought to both of these songs is much needed, in a show that's so full of the trauma and abuse the wives endured from Henry.

And while we're talking of humour...Haus of Holbein will always be the most bonkers song in a musical. It's absolutely wild, and that's exactly why I love it! I've had the soundtrack on repeat for five years, and I don't see that changing any time soon. 

Over the years, my favourite Queen has changed repeatedly, but last night it was undoubtedly, Cleves (Ward-Anderson). She is, hands down, the best Cleves I've ever seen. She had so much fire and sass, and down to the body language and facial expressions, she didn't miss a beat. That outfit change mid-song? Mind-blowing.

Another favourite of the night was K Howard's (Basigara) "All You Wanna Do". It's always been a harrowing song, but the vulnerability and innocence that Koko brought to the role last night was something I haven't seen before. It was heart wrenchingly good. And can we take a moment to appreciate Cathy Parr's (Couch) vocals? Riffs to ruffle your ruffs, indeed

As the show has more of a concert-vibe, the staging, lighting and choreography are so important to to making this production feel worthy of the West End; and it's executed immaculately. From the lighting alone, you can tell which Queen is performing; which I think is incredible.

Last night reminded me why I love this show so very much. It's diverse, inclusive, and above all, empowering. I always leave the show feeling like a fierce, unstoppable Queen - and last night was no different. I certainly don't expect Six to be leaving the West End any time soon! It deserves all of the love (and awards) it receives.

Book tickets to see Six the Musical at the Vaudeville Theatre, here.

**photography by Pamela Raith**

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