Review: Six The Musical - Girl power reigns supreme as sell-out show rocks Edinburgh

WITH all the attitude of the Spice Girls, six ghosts from the past strutted on stage to the strains of Greensleeves at the Festival Theatre last night and the capacity audience roared their delight.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 5:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 10:57 pm
Six The Musical

FESTIVAL THEATRE, Nicolson Street

* * * * *

Six The Musical had returned to its spiritual home.

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It was as a student production on the 2017 Fringe that Six - a piece written in just 10 days by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss - received its premiere. It may have played under the radar that first year, but it didn’t go unnoticed by numerous producers and returned as a full, professional production in 2018. Selling 10,000 tickets it quickly became the hit of that year’s Fringe, winning a direct transfer to London’s West End.

Today, there are six productions of Six worldwide, including one due to open on Broadway, later this month. All this week, however, the ill-fated Queens are back where they started.

A history lesson, the likes of which any school kid could but dream, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr arrive on stage in dramatic style, each determined to be crowned the most tragic of the infamous monarch’s unfortunate wives.

Simply put at the top of the show - divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived - their ‘her-stories’ unfold through song. Highlights include the stupidly catchy opener Ex-Wives, No Way, a boisterous song of defiance, the beautiful anthemic Heart of Stone and then there’s the crowd-pleasing techno bounce of Haus of Holbein.

Delivered as an 80 minute concert, the cast are accompanied by a tight, ever-present four-piece girl band, playing with great gusto - take a bow Arelene McNaught, Vanessa Domonique, Frankie South and Kat Bax.

As the Queens, Lauren Drew, Maddison Bulleyment, Lauren Byrne, Shekinah McFarlane, Jodie Steele and Athena Collins make it impossible to single out one performance. With verve and vivacity, and clearly loving every barbed quip and beguiling harmonies, they carry the audience on a wave of infectious energy.

There’s a serious point to be made too and it's done through perfectly pitched dark humour before the evening ends, as it started, with the audience roaring their approval.

Be prepared to lose your head for tickets.

Until Sunday 9 February