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I have no idea why King Henry VIII gets all the attention in history. His wives put on a far superior show.
SIX the Musical is a cheesy and sassy and utterly euphoric show, unapologetically harnessing the wonderful elements of feminism and femininity young women are so often criticised for as the source of its immense strength and global success – pop music, sparkles, and the slightly heavy-handed messages of female empowerment.
With Tudor puff sleeves dripping with jewels and practical shoes – yay to seeing sturdy boots on stage rather than stilettos – the queens tease us with the premise of a competition to figure out who has suffered the most at the hands of Henry VIII. You’d think it’s a no-brainer (ha) between the two that were beheaded, but through their catchy songs, each inspired by different queens of pop, they’re all pretty persuasive – until they ultimately free themselves from the grip of this patriarchal approach to history.
Each member of the cast puts on a strong performance. Catherine of Aragon’s Beyonce-esque character is played by Phoenix Jackson Mendoza, but swing Shannen Alyce Quan slayed in the role on the night I saw the show; Kala Gare is delightfully rambunctious as Anne Boleyn, drawing on everyone’s favourite sk8er girl Avril Lavigne; and Loren Hunter channels her inner Adele as Jane Seymour.
The second half of the snappy 75 minute performance sees Kiana Daniele kick the competition into high gear through her Nicki Minaj-inspired Anna of Cleves; Chelsea Dawson takes on centuries of gender-based violence to tell the emotionally-charged story of Katherine Howard, fittingly inspired by Brittany Spears; and Vidya Makan draws on the powerful self-assuredness of Alicia Keys as trailblazing feminist Catherine Parr.
Flashy lighting and black and white Tudor costumes of the ‘Ladies in Waiting’ band tell you that you’re here to see a pop concert for the ages. The choreography follows suit, drawing inspiration from the Spice Girls, Little Mix and every diva you can think of with its multitude of simple moves performed in-sync and at high speed.
SIX the Musical is an electrifying display of vocal and acting excellence which turns the tables on history in a retelling that celebrates these women whose names we only know through the man that influenced their lives. Its soundtrack is phenomenal and yes it’s on Spotify – but it’s better live. Go and experience it for yourself.
Wine Pairing | Shiraz
The bright, bold colours and personality of SIX requires a wine that can meet the challenge!
My Pick: The Victorian Shiraz 2020
This shiraz is a beautiful full bodied blend of ripe, luscious red fruit and savoury spices. Containing oak notes such as chocolate and tobacco gives it maturity that glances back to the Tudor times, but the fruit flavours keep it young and poppin’.
Pick it up for around $20 on NakedWines.
|Aussie Season||19 Dec 2021 to 2 April 2022, Sydney Opera House, 23 April to 15 May 2022, Canberra Theatre Centre, 21 May to 12 June, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, 17 June to 21 July 2022, Comedy Theatre, Melbourne,|
|Writer||Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss|
|Director||Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage|
|Theatre Type & Genre||Musical, pop, feminist, historical|
|See it if you like||girl power, pop concerts, and a good dose of sass and glitter!|
|Other Info||believe it or not, this musical was written by two university students!|
|Criteria for Wine Pairing||Rich colour, pronounced flavours|