Express & Star

Review: Popstar queens keep making 'herstory' in fun-filled production of Six

The sensationally sassy girl power musical “Six” burst onto the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre stage last night with all the excitement and energy that every tour of this show incites.

Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

Written and created by Cambridge students Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow, Six was the scene stealer at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before heading to the West End and Broadway, making ‘herstory’ as it went, and the momentum has grown and grown. Now seven years later, it continues to wow audiences the world over and no doubt will do for some considerable time to come.

It’s the tale of each of Henry VIII’s six wives and how badly each one was treated by the feared monarch. Individually, the wives tell their story and although you could be forgiven for thinking this is a fluffy, entertaining piece of musical theatre - and it is - it is also a very clever concept for a show, completely historically correct and a history lesson on stage.

Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

With each performer taking their ‘Queenspiration’ from current pop stars, the wives channel their inner Beyoncé, Avril Lavigne, Adele, Rhianna, Ariana Grande, and Alicia Keys to transform into a present-day girl group and step up to the mic to compete to be the queen who was treated the worst, offering their version of their marriages to Henry. And the facts are remarkably interesting and maybe not what you learnt in school.

Even the band are female, aptly named the “Ladies in Waiting,” who romp through every number with pace and style and are as much a part of the show as the six queens. In fact the majority of the creative team is female too, making Six a perfect example of a celebration of women.

Midlands gal Nicole Louise Lewis chose to perform her role as Catherine of Aragon with a pure Wolverhampton accent, which obviously went down well with the crowd, and her outstanding number, No Way, perfectly set the scene for an evening of extraordinary vocals, passion, and vulnerability from each and every queen.

Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

The humour in the show dominates, hiding their actual awful fates. Naturally, there are plenty of references to being beheaded, 'executed' with perfect comedic timing and delivery, in particular from Laura Dawn Pyatt as Anne Boleyn, whose constant references to having her head cut off were hilarious.

Then the mood changed completely and reality hit when Erin Caldwell as Jane Seymour delivered a superb rendition of Heart of Stone, where she depicts the happy family she and Henry may have had if she had not died, bringing romance, drama, and sorrow to the piece.

But even then, there was a moment of humour as the other queens’ response to her statement “the only one he ever loved” was simply “rude!”

Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

The aptly named Lou Henry as the saucy Katherine Howard was suitably sexy and flirty as she defended herself for her indiscretions which became her downfall and shared the inevitable “off with her head” jokes with Anne Boleyn.

Tamara Morgan wowed the audience with her vocals as the survivor widow Catherine Parr, displaying just how strong a woman can be, but the performance of the evening went to Kennedy Small as Anne of Cleves, whose number “Get Down,” where she claims to be the “Queen of the Castle” and Henry, “The Dirty Rascal” oozed comedy timing, superb delivery, outstanding down and dirty dance moves and simply made the audience laugh out loud!

There are so many highlights in Six, and one has to be the “Haus of Holbein” number where the queens don fluorescent ruffs and sunglasses to create an Ibiza-style club atmosphere.

Sounds crazy, but it works!

Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage’s direction is sharp and innovative, while Carrie-Anne Ingrouille’s choreography is extraordinarily distinctive and definitely ground-breaking.

Costume designer Gabriella Slade has created authentic outfits, but with a very modern twist of course and each queen donning a different colour, and corseted dress or tunic reminiscent of Tudor times, and coupled with Tim Deiling’s excellent lighting plot and the minimalistic but highly effective scenery, Six is one of the most visually appealing shows of this modern age.

In conclusion, this is a modern-day history lesson, full of fun and laughter and delivers a punch of girl power! The catchy tunes and dance moves are so well-known by fans that the evening ended with the whole theatre on its feet singing and dancing along to the ‘Megasix Megamix’ finale.

It’s a five-star performance, but really deserves Six!

Tickets for the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre are limited now, but you might bag the odd one if you are lucky. Call 01902 429212 or visit to book.