Thursday, 14 March 2019

REVIEW: Six at the Arts Theatre

Having seen this show, and reviewed it (read my original review here), I was very much looking forward to heading back to see this show again and to see how its improved. Since its run at the Arts Theatre back in 2018 it has been on a short tour of the UK and is now back to stay (for the foreseeable future) at the Arts Theatre. 

When you walk into the Arts, both the front of house and the auditorium, you feel a sense of intimacy. Personally, I’d advise you get there early as it gets very busy in the foyer but the team that work there and the charm of the place are really delightful. The space is small but perfect for this piece, any bigger and I think we’d feel a disconnection with the Queens. They really feel like they’re talking directly to you so the intimacy of this theatre really works in their favour. 

Having seen the show before, I can see some changes in the production. Not that I saw any flaws in the show before, but the writing is tighter, choreography is slicker and musically it sounds so much better. With the success of this show, one could say “If its not broke, don’t fix it”, but what I admire about the creatives on this is that they are clearly striving for more than just a good recipe for a show. They are true creators and are striving for excellence. A quality that will go very far in this industry. 

There are two main reasons why this show works so well. Number One, the writing of each Queen is so individual and unique. They each are able to have their moment and tell their story. Number Two, this cast gel so well together and their talent was incredibly showcased individually but as a group they blend so well. 

The cast features Jarneia Richard-Noel as Catherine of Aragon, Millie O’Connell as Anne Boleyn, Natalie Paris as Jane Seymour, Alexia McIntosh as Anna of Cleves, Aimie Atkinson as Katherine Howard and May Quansah-Breed as Catherine Parr. Not to mention Grace Mouat, Vicki Manser and Courtney Stapleton who alternate the roles. 

All girls hold their own in their numbers but each are able to portray their own individual style as each Queen. The experience of these actors vary, from a long list of credits to fresh graduates but these girls together know exactly how to play to an audience and you really can’t take your eyes off the stage. 

Keep you eyes on these six girls, with an Olivier Award nomination under their
belts they have the world of Theatre at their feet.

I didn’t mention the design aspect of the show in my last review, so I must praise it now! Gabriella Slade (Costume design), Emma Bailey (Set design) and Tim Deiling (Lighting design) have transformed this small fringe theatre into an O2 quality concert. 

This show packs a punch and I really cannot get enough, neither can the West End apparently! Not only has this show rightfully been recognised in the Olivier award nominations but the audiences are loving it. Straight away everyone felt relaxed and ready for a fun packed evening and thats exactly what we got. 

Beg, borrow, behead for a ticket. One of the top highlights of the year. 

Review by Mark Swale 

Rating: ★★★★★

Seat: Stalls, F14 | Price of Ticket: £49.50
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