Review | 'Six' sees Henry VIII's wives compete in an 'X Factor' style arena to see who suffered the most

The new British musical is currently playing at the Arts Theatre, London


What started as a student production at last year’s Edinburgh Festival now arrives in the West End with a whole lot of ‘sisterly sassitude’ before embarking on their ‘Divorced Beheaded Live' tour.

It’s a success story every Fringe artist dreams about and judging by the audience’s reaction it’s a success that will only grow as we are bowled over by the sheer power of Six.

The premise is simple – stick the six wives of Henry VIII on stage and make them compete in an X Factor style arena to win the audiences approval for who suffered the most.

These women are no hapless victims but instead full of sass, sexuality, wicked humour and sheer animalistic energy. An insightful history lesson this isn’t, but as each wife takes her turn in the spotlight we are treated to performances powerful enough to make heads roll.

The major attraction of this production is that it’s pure unadulterated fun. It achieves the pop concert atmosphere while also making a comment on female empowerment and ownership. It’s captivating and exhilarating and unashamedly British.

Dressed in punk variations of period costume the six wives have vocals to die for.

It would be unfair to single out one in particular but as each one steps forward you wonder how the next one will top it.

They do, time and time again. Each performer has stamped their character with such a clear identity which leaves no danger of them fading into the background.

When all this attitude and female power comes together for the group numbers of ‘Six’ and ‘Haus Of Holbein’ it blows the roof off.

This is the great new British musical. The soundtrack dropped on Spotify this week which will add to the growing army of fans these women are gathering.

With everything happening in the news today musicals like this bring life affirming fun, the importance of which can’t be overstated. Do yourself a favour and go and party with Six. You won’t regret it.

Rating – 5*

Six plays at the Arts Theatre until 14th October

Words by Matthew Hyde