Wednesday, 11 January 2023

REVIEW: Six the Musical at the Vaudeville Theatre

Since its first full mounting in 2017, SIX has taken over the world. The Queens are now all across the globe, from the West End to Australia and even at sea! The Musical, By Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow, has changed the face of musical theatre and has brought a new, young audience to our theatres across the globe. There is no doubt as to why that is, this fresh show remains as relevant and sassy as it did 5 years ago. 

Now playing in London’s Vaudeville Theatre, the show has found its forever home. And I’m pretty sure we can expect this one to run for a while! The show tells the story of Henry VIII’s wives through their eyes in a contemporary and modern way through the use of songs based on modern-day icons. Whilst the storyline may be pulled together with a book thinner than a piece raw spaghetti, that doesn’t matter because what drives this is the score. 

Kicking things off as Catherine of Aragon is Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky, she brings sass and confidence to the role which gives it a fresh take. Historically one of the oldest of Henry’s wives, McCaulsky brings out the youthful side and fully commands the stage. 

West End newcomer Baylie Carson is the absolute star of the show, whilst this is a true ensemble piece Carson has a natural clown within them and Boleyn fully facilitates that. They allow themselves to be completely in it and what we get is a masterful comedic performance with killer vocals. 

Claudia Kariuki (Seymour) and Dionne Ward-Anderson (Cleves) have been playing these parts for a year now and that is very clear. They have managed to fine-tune their performances in a way which is wholly controlled yet totally free and exciting. 

Koko Basigara plays the pink princess Katherine Howard, she plays it almost as a charactour 90’s high school mean girl in an American chick flick which is a great direction to take the character but at times didn’t come across as very truthful. However, she has killer vocals and embodies Howard's energy through and through. 

And last but not least, Roxanne Couch as Catherine Parr. Couch has stepped up from alternating the role and much like Kariuki and Ward-Anderson, has so much control over her performance. The more grounded of the six, her Parr has a commanding presence but brings a more pragmatic energy which is a perfect balance among the Queens. 

The real star of the show however is Gabriella Slade’s costume design. Every element is perfection and over the course of the show finding its feet over the years, they have been fine-tuned and as a result of that, we’ve got some of the most stunning and interesting designs on the West End. 

My only criticism of the show would be that the choreography could have been tighter and slicker, at times it did get a bit messy and lost that ‘Girl Band’ formation we see in Arenas. 

Six is still one of, if not the, top show of the century and it's very clear to see why. Whatever age you are and whatever tastes you have, this is an empowering and thrilling live experience that will make you want to come back again and again and again and again! 

Review by Mark Swale 

Rating: ★★★★★

Seat: Stalls, F9 | Price of Ticket: £69.50
Blog Design by pipdig