SIX The Musical: A vibrant retelling of Her-story

In the heart of London’s West End, a dazzling spectacle awaited me at the Vaudeville Theatre last night. “SIX The Musical” took the stage, offering a fresh perspective on the lives of Henry VIII’s six wives. This modern, high-energy production transforms history into a sassy pop concert, blending captivating performances with cleverly reimagined tales of queens who refused to be defined by their infamous husband.

SIX The Musical: A vibrant retelling of Her-story

The Spectacle Unveiled

From the very first note, “SIX” plunges the audience into a whirlwind of Euro-pop remixes and witty banter. The queens, brilliantly portrayed by a talented and diverse cast, belt out anthems that reframe their stories with humour, sass, and unapologetic flair. The choreography is electric, with snappy dance routines that leave the audience captivated.

A Closer Look at Her-story

While “SIX” channels the spirit of modern girl bands, it also offers glimpses of a wittier, weirder narrative. “Haus of Holbein” transforms Renaissance portraits into a dating app, infusing the historical backdrop with a surreal, comedic twist. The clever, quick-witted rhymes (“I tried to elope but the Pope said nope”) and twisted historical references add layers of depth to the performance.

Queens in the Spotlight

Each queen steps into the limelight, determined to tell her own story. Anne Boleyn, with her cheeky text-speak and Anne Howard, sharing #MeToo tales, bring the struggles and triumphs of their lives to the forefront. The queens’ distinct voices and songs showcase their individuality, creating a dynamic ensemble that keeps the audience enthralled.

Critique and Controversy

However, beneath the glittering surface lies a critique. The competition amongst the queens, while played for laughs, raises questions about the portrayal of women. Some are characterised as dim and ditzy, others as sexually provocative and vain. The modern pop concert setting doesn’t provide a meaningful counterpoint, leaving some viewers wishing for a deeper exploration of empowerment.

A Standing Ovation

Despite these considerations, “SIX” has clearly struck a chord with its audience. The electric atmosphere in the theatre, the standing ovations, and the enthusiastic applause demonstrate its wide appeal. The show’s fast-paced nature, combined with its vibrant performances, undoubtedly make it a memorable experience.

Mixed Reactions

However, not every viewer is equally enamoured. Some found the volume overwhelming, while others yearned for a more traditional musical experience with a cohesive plot. The comparison to ‘Hamilton’ looms, reminding us that while “SIX” stands tall, it’s important to acknowledge its roots as a student show.

 

“SIX The Musical” invites us into a world where history meets high-octane pop. It’s a spectacle that sparks conversation, provoking thoughts about how we perceive and portray women’s stories. While it may not be without its critiques, the sheer energy and talent on display make it an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a history buff or a pop music enthusiast, “SIX” offers a unique fusion that demands to be seen.

Address: Vaudeville Theatre 404 Strand London WC2R 0NH

Transport: Tube: Charing Cross

Price: £19.50-£74.50. Runs 1hr 15min

Reflexions on the character of Ann Boleyn

The character of Ann Boleyn was not well portrayed in the musical. She appears as a shallow, silly and joyful woman who was picked for her beauty and fun personality. However, this is historically incorrect and gives students the wrong information. Let me rectify it here so that parents can warn children before or after the musical, without taking away anything from the fun of the show.

SIX The Musical Ann. Boleyn

Anne Boleyn was not just a passing fancy for King Henry VIII; she played a significant role in his life and had notable political influence. Here are several reasons why Anne Boleyn was a pivotal figure in Henry VIII’s reign:

  1. Intellect and Wit: Anne Boleyn was known for her sharp intellect and wit. She received an education in the Netherlands and France, which was unusual for a woman of her time. Her ability to engage in intellectual conversations with Henry elevated her status in his eyes.
  2. Challenging the Catholic Church: Anne’s influence on Henry is closely tied to the English Reformation. She was a staunch supporter of religious reform and introduced Henry to the ideas of Martin Luther and other Protestant thinkers. This eventually led to Henry’s break with the Catholic Church and the establishment of the Church of England.
  3. Long Courtship and Marriage Struggles: Anne and Henry’s courtship lasted for several years, during which Henry pursued a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. This process, known as the annulment, led to a rift between Henry and the Catholic Church. Anne’s persistence in wanting to marry Henry was a driving force behind the English Reformation.
  4. Influence on Policy: Anne Boleyn’s opinions and preferences had a significant impact on the policies of Henry’s government. She used her position to advocate for individuals who supported religious reform, influencing appointments and decisions made within the royal court.
  5. Queen and Mother to Elizabeth I: Anne gave birth to Elizabeth, who would later become Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabeth’s reign is often considered one of the most prosperous and culturally significant periods in English history. Anne’s influence as Elizabeth’s mother played a crucial role in shaping the future of England.
  6. Promotion of Arts and Culture: Anne was a patron of the arts and encouraged the flourishing of literature and music at court. This cultural flourishing had a lasting impact on the English Renaissance.
  7. Foreign Relations: Anne’s marriage to Henry helped strengthen England’s position on the European stage. Her family connections in France and the Holy Roman Empire played a role in diplomatic efforts and alliances.
  8. Legacy of the Boleyns: Anne’s family, the Boleyns, gained significant influence during her time as queen. Her father, Thomas Boleyn, became Earl of Wiltshire, and her brother, George Boleyn, was elevated to Viscount Rochford. This elevated the Boleyn family’s status and further solidified Anne’s political importance.

Anne Boleyn’s impact on Henry VIII and English history was profound. Her intellectual prowess, support for religious reform, and influence on policy decisions made her a central figure during a crucial period in England’s history. Anne Boleyn’s legacy continues to be felt today, particularly through her daughter, Elizabeth I, who is remembered as one of England’s greatest monarchs.

So, have you now  guessed who my favourite Queen out of the SIX was?

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