With some new queens gracing the court to rewrite the stories of the most famous historical wives, Six the Musical has had a cast change to bring fresh flavours to the palace, in a show that ironically never gets old. Unsurprisingly continuing the high standards which have resulted in the rapid global success of Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow's hit production, they seem the perfect fit for the latest version at The Vaudeville.
There are many special elements about the piece that not only make it a flawlessly crafted musical, but also one to admire in the industry. Having a widely diverse cast, alongside the fantastic musicians on stage too, it sets a clear example for the representation that is essential to see, and proves to be the epitome of feminism in the arts.
A dramatic drop of the curtain and ample smoke to gather an atmosphere; the old-style pre-show music stops and the six monarchs take over- 'Ex Wives' opens the show with immediate skilful prowess depicted by all. Forming the sensational pop power group, Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky plays Catherine of Aragon, bringing all the riffs, and rich vocals to die for. Her character draws you in, and provides the ideal beginning to the battle of the best, with 'No Way' flaunting her sassy moves. Packed with innuendoes, that just keep on coming throughout the show, Baylie Carson takes on the role of the (first) beheaded, Anne Boleyn, singing the most recognisable of the tracks, 'Don't Lose Ur Head'. Hilariously gallivanting about in mockery of their fateful end, this is one of many elements that turn these events into something that hearing about has modern appeal, while being educational, and so much fun to watch. Claudia Kariuki's heart wrenching rendition of 'Heart of Stone' demonstrates the strength of those notes, and the depth in meaning behind each of them.
Luminous glasses and collars adorned, 'Haus of Holbein' offers a hypnotic intermission between individual songs, as all six introduce Henry's overseas search, followed by Dionne Ward-Anderson as Anna of Cleves giving a brilliantly fiery performance of 'Get Down'. The most notable costume alteration from previous developments of the show was here, as a quick revealing moment caused a raucous cheer from the enthused audience. Gabriella Slade's work designing all of these extremely detailed and sparkling outfits continues to be a triumph.
Koko Basigara executes 'All You Wanna Do' admirably, as does Roxanne Couch with a beautiful version of 'I Don't Need Your Love'. Finishing the fastest 80 minutes of your life, the cast perform 'Six' to end, before the 'Megasix', whereby audiences are invited to record, which offers a unique way of sharing a bit of the show to others, or keeping it as a souvenir to remember. Already hugely popular, Six has become as staple as the classics in theatre soundtrack stakes. The lyrics in every song- as well as the dialogue- are immensely catchy and clearly thoughtful, each line having its own punch, and adding to the overall accomplishment of the piece.
Each queen has their personality shining through in their parts, and with the freedom to interpret them in a whole variety of ways, a range of differing tones can be projected from the same script. Carrie-Anne Ingrouille's choreography maximises impact to work well with the space, along with Emma Bailey's set and Tim Deiling's lighting being a treat.
Six the Musical is just one you can never get enough of. With simply nothing to fault, you'll be leaving wanting to be back for more: an instant favourite, and a performance you won't forget.