Six (musical)

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Divorced Beheaded Live in Concert!
Six Musical.jpg
MusicToby Marlow
Lucy Moss
LyricsToby Marlow
Lucy Moss
BookToby Marlow
Lucy Moss
BasisThe six wives of King Henry VIII
Premiere2017: Edinburgh Fringe
Productions2017 Edinburgh
2018 Edinburgh
2018 Off-West End
2018 UK Tour
2019 Chicago
2019 Manchester
2019 West End
AwardsBest Off-West End Production - WhatsOnStage Awards 2019

Six is a British musical with book, music and lyrics by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss.[1] The idea came to Marlow while studying in his final year at Cambridge University, and despite uncertainties from collaborator Moss, the pair wrote the musical while studying for their final exams.[2] The musical is a modern retelling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII presented as a pop concert, as the wives take turns singing and telling their story to see who had the worst time with Henry and will become the group's lead singer.


Edinburgh Fringe (2017)[edit]

The world premiere production took place at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, presented by Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society.[3]

Arts Theatre (2017)[edit]

The Edinburgh production attracted the attention of several producers, and made its professional debut on 18th December 2017, performing six Off-West End performances at the Arts Theatre. The cast included Renée Lamb (Catherine of Aragon), Christina Modestou (Anne Boleyn), Natalie May Paris (Jane Seymour), Genesis Lynea (Anna of Cleves), Aimie Atkinson (Katherine Howard) and Izuka Hoyle (Catherine Parr). A full cast recording was released on 13th September 2018, featuring the original Arts Theatre cast.

UK Tour (2018)[edit]

Six began its first UK tour on 11th July in Norwich, returning to the Edinburgh Fringe on 1st August 2018. Six transferred to the Arts Theatre in the West End with an opening night on 30 August. The UK Tour and West End cast featured Jarneia Richard-Noel (Catherine of Aragon), Millie O'Connell (Anne Boleyn), Natalie May Paris (Jane Seymour), Alexia McIntosh (Anna of Cleves), Aimie Atkinson (Katherine Howard), Maiya Quansah-Breed (Catherine Parr) and Grace Mouat (Swing/Dance Captain). The production closed on 14 October prior to continuing its UK Tour. The UK tour ended on 30th December 2018 in Glasgow.[4] During the Glasgow production, Renée Lamb briefly returned to the show to play the role of Catherine of Aragon as a result of cast illness.

Arts Theatre (2019)[edit]

The musical re-opened for an initial 16-week run at the Arts Theatre on 17th January with Vicki Manser and Courtney Stapleton joining the cast as alternates for Anne Boleyn/Anna of Cleves and Catherine of Aragon/Catherine Parr respectively. Richard-Noel, O'Connell, Paris, McIntosh, Atkinson and Quansah-Breed continue in their roles as the six Queens, with Mouat continuing as the show's Dance Captain, but now the alternate for Jane Seymour and Katherine Howard only due to the other roles now being covered by Manser and Stapleton. In April 2019, it was announced that Courtney Stapleton and Grace Mouat would swap, with Mouat now alternate for Aragon and Howard and Stapleton now alternate for Seymour and Parr. [5] The initial run has since been extended until January 2020.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (2019)[edit]

Six had its North American premiere at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in May 2019.[6]. Directed by Jamie Armitage and Lucy Moss,[7] the Chicago premier is produced by Six's London producers with the addition of Broadway producer Kevin McCollum and newcomer Zachary Carpenter. According to Chris Jones the Chicago production may be a Broadway tryout.[8] The same production moves to the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts in August of 2019.[9]

In a review, Jones praised the show as "dynamic" and a "blast", with a "sense of humor and spirited radicalism." "Marlow and Moss are Gifted comic writers", and he calls the cast a "musical force of the intensely committed and talented actresses". Jones goes on to suggest the show could use 10 more minutes of material that gets away from the plot's singing contest conceit, and toward the emotional center of the characters. He also thinks the orchestration of the songs could be more substantial. Jones believes Six has an audience that is ready for it, in part because it gets to a complex historical paradox and treats it with verve, the memories of women in history being tied to the life of a man.[10] Hedy Weiss praises the musical as "sensational", singling out each performer in the Chicago cast. Weiss also thinks the show makes a convincing case for each character, and in addition to praising the writers, notes the "dynamite direction by Moss and Jamie Armitage, and powerhouse music direction by Roberta Duchak" as well as, "Gabriella Slade’s glittering costumes . . . and Tim Deiling’s arena-style lighting".[11] According to Rachel Weinberg, "Six carries out [a] joyful and anachronistic takedown of the patriarchy" through the performances of a "brilliant" cast and a book and score with an inventive and sensational compositional method.[12]

Principal Cast[edit]

Role Original Edinburgh Cast Original Arts Theatre Cast Original UK Tour Cast 2019 West End Cast Original Chicago Cast
Catherine of Aragon Megan Gilbert Renée Lamb Jarneia Richard-Noel Adrianna Hicks
Anne Boleyn Ashleigh Weir Christina Modestou Millie O’Connell Andrea Macasaet
Jane Seymour Holly Musgrave Natalie Paris Abby Mueller
Anna of Cleves Matilda Wickham Genesis Lynea Alexia McIntosh Brittney Mack
Katherine Howard Annabel Marlow Aimie Atkinson Samantha Pauly
Catherine Parr Shimali De Silva Izuka Hoyle Maiya Quansah-Breed Anna Uzele

Notable cast replacements[edit]

West End Cast[edit]

  • Alternates: Grace Mouat, Victoria Manser and Courtney Stapleton

Chicago cast[edit]

  • Alternates: Mallory Maedke and Nicole Kyoung-Mi Lambert
  • Katherine Howard: Courtney Mack[7]

Musical numbers[edit]

  • "Ex-Wives" – Company
  • "No Way" – Catherine of Aragon
  • "Don't Lose Ur Head" – Anne Boleyn
  • "Heart of Stone" – Jane Seymour
  • "Haus of Holbein" – Company
  • "Get Down" – Anna of Cleves
  • "All You Wanna Do" – Katherine Howard
  • "I Don't Need Your Love" – Catherine Parr
  • "I Don't Need Your Love (Remix)" – Catherine Parr & Company
  • "Six" – Company
  • "Megasix" – Company †

† Not included on the Studio Cast Recording.


Original West End production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2019 WhatsOnStage Awards Best New Musical Nominated
Best Original Cast Recording Nominated
Best Lighting Design Tim Deiling Nominated
Best Costume Design Gabriella Slade Nominated
Best Choreography Carrie-Anne Ingrouille Nominated
Best Off-West End Production Won
Laurence Olivier Awards[13] Best Musical Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Music Joe Beighton, Tom Curran, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss for orchestrating, scoring and vocal arranging Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Aimie Atkinson, Alexia McIntosh, Millie O'Connell, Natalie Paris, Maiya Quansah-Breed and Jarneia Richard-Noel Nominated
Best Costume Design Gabriella Slade Nominated
Best Theatre Choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille Nominated


  1. ^ "Marking her-story: SIX announces UK tour and West End run". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  2. ^ "We wrote a musical during our it's on in the West End". The JC. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  3. ^ Fringe Review Six
  4. ^ "Six extends in the West End". Whatsonstage. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  5. ^ "Six the musical is returning to the West End next year". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  6. ^ "New Musical Six, About Wives of King Henry VIII, Will Play Chicago Shakespeare Theater". Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  7. ^ a b "Chicago Shakespeare Theater: SIX". Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  8. ^ Jones, Chris. "Chicago Shakespeare to nix 'Broomsticks' and premiere new rock opera 'Six'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  9. ^ "Announcing A.R.T.'s 2019/20 Season". A.R.T. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  10. ^ Jones, Chris (May 23, 2019). "Now at Chicago Shakes, 'Six' gives these Tudor wives a voice and could be a huge hit". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  11. ^ Weiss, Hedy (May 23, 2019). "In Knockout Musical 'Six,' King Henry VIII's Wives Have Their #MeToo Moment". WTTW. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  12. ^ Weinberg, Rachel (May 25, 2019). "BWW Review: SIX at Chicago Shakespeare Theater". Broadway World. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  13. ^ McPhee, Ryan (2019-03-05). "2019 Olivier Award Nominations: London's Company and Come From Away Lead the Pack". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-03-06.

External links[edit]