Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Six – The Musical

Loren Hunter,Chelsea Dawson, Phoenix Jackson Mendoza, Kala Gare, Kiana Daniele & Vidya Makan. Photo: JAMES D MORGAN - GETTY IMAGES

In the age of the #Metoo movement, Six – The Musical finally allows the wives of Henry VIII to tell the story from their own point of view.

Inspired by Beyoncé, Hamilton, and 1980s disco, inter alia, the six wives belt it out in song and dance as they compete to become the lead singer on the basis of their sufferings at the hands of the ruthless king, for whom succession was an obsession.

With the music, lyrics and book co-authored by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, the show was first presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 by Cambridge University students.

In chronological order, each queen tells her story.

Catherine of Aragon (Phoenix Jackson Mendoza) describes how, after failing to produce a male heir, Henry places her in a nunnery and turns his attention to Anne Boleyn (Kala Gare). She, too, fails to produce a male heir, although her daughter Elizabeth will eventual become Queen and reign for 44 years.

Jane Seymour (Loren Hunter) next attracts Henry’s gaze, which soon turns to Anna of Cleves (Kiana Daniele), then Katherine Howard (Chelsea Dawson).

The last queen, Catherine Parr (Vidya Makan), ends the competition and unites the group by reminding them that they do not need Henry’s love because they are all individuals with their own voices.

“They always said we need your love

“But it’s time for us to rise above

“It’s not what went down in history

“We’re taking back control

The fabulous all-female on-stage band comprises musical director Claire Healey playing keyboard, Debbie Yap on guitar, Jessica Dunn on bass and Ali Foster belting out the powerful beat on drums.

By the end of the night, the audience was on its feet, stampin’ and a’cheerin’ and a hootin’ for the six ladies on stage with their great voices and powerful message. And btw, the gorgeous costumes by Gabriella Slade were an inventive mix of Elizabethan glam and Soho glitz.

Until Apr 2. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point. $49-$145+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sydneyoperahouse.com

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