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Six

Six

★★★★

Vaudeville Theatre

Six

Six

Vaudeville Theatre

Reviewed – 9th November 2021

★★★★

 

“a sensational show … the script sizzles with wit”

 

Does Six need introducing? Is there anyone at this point who isn’t aware of the musical phenomenon that’s snowballed massively in popularity since 2018, resulting now in its permanent fixture at the Vaudeville Theatre? Probably not. Its simple but effective and easily marketable concept is what propelled the show so far, after all. But, three years on, does it still stand up, stand out, and hook you in?

For those unfamiliar with the premise (both of you), Six sees Henry VIII’s wives brought together on stage. They decide to perform for the audience in turn, each trying to prove that they were the wife who had it the worst. They all rise to the challenge, belting out anthems to the audience about the hardships they suffered, in what feels more like a concert than a run-of-the-mill musical: the band (led superbly by Lauren Hopkinson) are prominently on stage for the whole performance, the costumes (Gabriella Slade) look like they were stolen straight out of the wardrobe of the latest pop icon’s arena tour, and the set (Emma Bailey) and lighting (Tim Deiling) are clearly invoking the feeling of being at a gig. It makes for a spectacle for the senses which frequently dazzles.

The cast are also clearly having an absolute blast. Under the direction of Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, they work stupendously well together, quickly establishing defined characters through bickering interactions between songs and generating a rapport that’s a delight to watch. The standouts were undoubtedly Cherelle Jay and Alexia McIntosh, who in this performance played Anne Boleyn and Anna of Cleves respectively. Jay’s song, ‘Don’t Lose Ur Head’ is performed with enrapturing charm and cheekiness, while McIntosh’s smugness and interplay with the audience in ‘Get Down’ will leave your face hurting from the grin that’ll be plastered on it. The vocals from all the cast are also jaw-on-the-floor fantastic, with Hana Stewart (Catherine Parr in this performance) being especially exceptional.

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss have crafted a sensational show together: the music would feel right at home in the charts but never forgets to serve the characters above all else, and the script sizzles with wit. There are some moments towards the end when it feels a little student-y, but it’s tremendously easy to overlook when the rest of the show is so joyous. Six is still totally superlative, and I expect it will continue to be for many years to come.

 

Reviewed by Ethan Doyle

Photography by Pamela Raith

 


Six

Vaudeville Theatre until 1st May 2022

 

Previously reviewed at this venue this year:
Constellations | ★★★★ | August 2021

 

Click here to see our most recent reviews

 

Review of The State of Things – 4 Stars

State of Things thespyinthestalls

The State of Things

Jack Studio Theatre

Reviewed – 13th September 2017

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

“a vibrant and highly amusing new British musical”

 

Brockley Jack Studio Theatre in South East London is currently hosting the premiere of “The State of Things” by Thomas Attwood & Elliot Clay. This intimate venue is a fantastic backdrop for this vibrant and highly amusing new British musical.

The show is set in the music room of a state school that has recently been given academy status. The first scene opens with seven students coming together to practise for their upcoming GCSE performance. The characters make unlikely friends but their love and passion for music helps them to form deep bonds.

The school is functioning under an era of austerity and the students learn that music funding is being cut and they will no longer be able to continue their musical journey at the school. Their passion takes them on a campaigning journey using social media to try and influence the head and their local MP to try and reverse the decision and secure their future.

The writing is excellent – the dialogue is perfectly suited to a group of teenagers. The play offers the right mixture of humour and poignancy making the characters incredibly believable. You are quickly drawn in to the story and hope that they will succeed with their crusade.

The acting is all of a high quality with Hana Stewart giving a stand out performance as Ruth. As she battles to keep her home and school life afloat you really feel her pain and frustrations. Nell Hardy as Kat made me want to rush home and sign up for viola lessons! The actors deliver their lines with great timing and are clearly musically talented.

The lyrics by Elliot Clay (who also takes the role of Adam) are original and beautifully written particularly “Maggie” and the “State of Things”.

The play runs for 90 minutes without an interval. This could easily be extended so the characters could be further developed and given greater depth. The show is highly enjoyable and I left with a warm feeling but also felt that I wanted to know more about the individuals.

 

Reviewed by Angela East

Photography by Headshot Toby

 

THE STATE OF THINGS

is at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre until 23rd September

 

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