Six (5 stars)

This article is from 2018


credit: Idil Sukan

New musical puts historical women centre stage and raises the roof

English history books are filled with monarchs, yet none is more talked about than Henry VIII. Why? Because he had six wives. Up until now, though he has been the talking point, not them. Well Six is here to put that right, and describe married life from the women's point of view.

Dressed in funked-up Tudor costumes, six superb performers (triple threats one and all) bring Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr back to life. Only this time, they're telling it like it is.

Initially set up as a competition to see 'who had the worst life with Henry', the women realise there's more that unites than divides them. As a bold piece of herstory-telling, Six more than earns the many plaudits already comings its way.

But this slice of 16th-century fun will find its own place in the theatrical annals of time largely due to the instantly likeable music and songs of co-writers, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. Each beat-driven track builds an almost gig-like frenzy in the crowd (with a few numbers already racking up plays on iTunes and Spotify), and the slow songs have a bittersweet tenderness.

It's not hyperbole to say that Six could meet the same kind of success as Hamilton, and indeed deserves to. The two have much in common: historical re-dressing, great vocals, colour-conscious casting, and the kind of clever lyrics that make you smile in approval.

Underbelly George Square, until 27 Aug (not 13), 7.30pm (except 27, 3.30pm), £13–£18.50 (£12–£17.50).


  • 5 stars

Musical comedy show featuring Henry VIII's six wives finally telling their side of the story through music and accompanied by a six piece band.