On Tuesday evening, the hit West End and Broadway musical Six opened at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal. The show made its royal return following its previous sell-out success.

And even though the opening night fell on the 4th of July or Independence Day in America, North-East theatre patrons turned their attention to another historically significant period. That period being the Tudor era of Henry VIII and his six wives.

Thanks to Toby Maslow and Lucy Moss, the famous story of the six wives of Henry VIII has been brought up to date in the most refreshing and entertaining way. Conceptually the musical has been described as ‘the six wives of Henry VIII, but - like - a pop group’. An innovative idea and one that works surprisingly well.

The beauty of the show is how they’ve taken the story and brought it up to date, using parallels from popular culture and social media. Throughout the show, the six ladies battle it out in an almost X-Factor style to determine who will be the queen of the castle and the audience's favourite. Perhaps, you could describe it as somewhat of a musical royal rumble.  

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In turn, using their singing talents, the six queens tell their tales of trauma and abuse during their time with the former King of England. Except for Catherine Parr, their fates ranged from divorce to death and even beheading. But they tell the story in such a way that they inject wit and humour into these heinous events.

At one point, Ann Boleyn played the wonderful Laura Dawn Pyatt jokes, ‘What hurts more than a broken heart – a severed head?’ And whilst fighting for stage time, she argued with the rest of the troupe that their time in the spotlight would be ‘over her dead body’.

The show is not like a traditional musical. It takes the form of a concert. Backed by a live band featured at the rear of the stage, each performer gets their moment in the limelight. The characters are bedecked in dazzling colourful costumes, and the songs feature catchy hooks, witty lyricism, and stunning choreography.

Jane Seymour, portrayed by Erin Caldwell, astounded the audience with her soaring vocals during Heart of Stone. Whilst, the RnB stylings and sassy persona of Anna of Cleves, played by Kenedy Small, were incredibly enjoyable during the song Get Down.

Deviating from the traditional story, the majestic musical has been remixed to allow the queens to take back control and give the cast the happy ending they deserve. Just like the story told by the characters portrayed in the musical, Six is worth losing your head over.

The sold-out show will run at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle until Saturday 8th of July.