Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived… If this doesn’t take you right back to your school days then I don’t know what will.
“Remember us from your GCSEs?!” shouted the band as the roof was lifted off Bath Theatre Royal this week with a historical pop musical like no other.
For a couple of years now the musical SIX, featuring the wives of Henry VIII, has already taken the West End, Broadway and even Australia by storm. Now as it ventures out on an extra extended UK tour, it is winning the hearts of people of all ages up and down the country.
Writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss have brought historical figures into the 21st century to take a look at the oppressive patriarchy of the 1500s. It may be lighthearted when it comes to the actual politics of feminism but if you take it as face value this production will leave you floating on a cloud as well as feeling capable of taking on the world.
This short, 75 minute visual and aural feast follows the six famous queens as they battle with riffs and tales of abuse, heartbreak and beheading, all vying for the title of who put up with the most bulls**t.
From tugging on your heart strings with powerful ballads to sassy quips and rap, each line is a dig at the queens and paints a picture of the kind of queen they were. As they banter and bond over their mutual interest in marrying the King of England, they realise the problem they all faced, and in a sassy 180 degree turn end on a high note.
Each song is as catchy as the next and poignant in its own way, whether it highlights unconditional love or sexual abuse. The lyrics are clever and witty, referencing both Martin Luther and Beyonce. See it once and you’ll be hooked on the soundtrack.
There is so much more to praise, with striking lighting, ingenious costuming and dynamic choreography. There is so much power and punch behind this show; you won’t be left feeling disappointed.
Backed by a girl band of four, the six queens and their powerhouse of vocals don’t show a weak link between them. They moved, thrilled and entertained the Bath audience who needed no encouragement to stand, cheer and clap along by the end. Bath has well and truly been SIX-ed.