Six the Musical Wiki
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"Six" is a British pop musical written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss while they were studying for their final exams at Cambridge University. It tells the stories of the six wives of Henry VIII, as they compete to decide who will lead the group based on how much they suffered while married to Henry.

Plot

The show begins with the six Queens introducing themselves in chronological order through a pop song. They welcome the audience to the performance ("Ex-Wives"). They then inform the audience that the concert will feature a competition between the Queens based on who had the worst experience with their common husband, Henry VIII. The winner of the competition gets to be the lead singer of the band ("Ex-Wives (Reprise)"). Catherine of Aragon is the first contestant to perform, recounting that despite how loyal she had been to him during their relationship, Henry wished to annul his marriage to Aragon and move her into a nunnery when he began lusting after Anne Boleyn, much to her anger ("No Way"). Aragon then declares herself the winner; however, the other Queens mention Anne and how Henry's desire to be with her led him to annul their marriage ("Anne Boleyn (Interlude)"). Anne ridicules Aragon about how Henry wanted to be with her instead, but she soon begins to complain about his infidelity and decides to flirt with other men to make him jealous, leading to her eventual arrest and execution ("Don't Lose Ur Head"). After her solo, Anne also proclaims herself the winner of the competition and begins to sing a second song "about the moment [she] found out Catherine of Aragon had tragically died". However, she is interrupted by the other Queens before she can even finish the first line. Jane Seymour announces that it is her turn to perform, but she is mocked for having had an easy time with Henry. She admits that while she may have been the one that Henry truly loved, she states that his love was conditional because she had produced a male heir. Despite this, Jane remained by Henry's side despite his many faults ("Heart of Stone").

The story then shifts as the Queens pretend to be members of Hans Holbein's painting studio, explaining how they make the women that he paints look beautiful for their portraits ("Haus of Holbein"). They parody a dating app by presenting a choice of three women for Henry to marry: Christina of Denmark, Amalia of Cleves, and Anna of Cleves, who is Amalia's elder sister. Henry chooses Anna of Cleves and the Queens are excited because they believe that the two will have a happy, long-lasting marriage ("Haus of Holbein (Playoff)"). However, their union is ultimately ill-fated as he decides to annul their marriage after meeting Anna in person due to her supposed non-resemblance to her portrait. Anna pretends to complain about how she is "forced" to live in a beautiful palace in Richmond as a result of the annulment and soon begins to boast about her riches and how she is able to do anything that she wishes ("Get Down"). The other Queens point out that Anna's life wasn't actually that difficult and she ultimately ends up disqualified from the competition. During Katherine Howard's turn, the Queens belittle her for being "the least relevant Catherine". She retorts by mentioning flaws in the other Queens' reasons for winning before recounting her romantic history, having had many suitors even as a child. At first, Katherine brags about her attractiveness; however, she soon realises the emotional trauma and abuse she faced in these relationships and how they led to her beheading ("All You Wanna Do").

As the Queens continue to argue about who should win the competition, Catherine Parr attempts to put a stop to it by pointing out how the contest defines them solely by their connections to Henry rather than their individual accomplishments. The Queens mock her and refuse to listen to her, so Parr begins to tell her story, beginning with a letter to the love of her life explaining that she has to leave him because Henry wishes to marry her. She then recounts the accomplishments she made independently of Henry, such as how she was a writer and an advocate for women's rights ("I Don't Need Your Love"). The other Queens, realising how long they have let themselves be defined by their marriages to Henry, stop the competition and declare that they don't need his love to feel validated as people ("I Don't Need Your Love (Remix)"). With only five minutes left in the show, they decide to use the remaining time on stage to "rewrite" their stories and sing together as a group rather than as solo artists, writing their own happily ever after ("Six").

In live performances, the Queens perform an encore number called "Megasix", serving as a mashup of all of the songs in the show (minus "Haus of Holbein"), serving as the show's bows; the audience is encouraged by the Queens to film the number in most locations.

Characters

Songs

  1. Ex-Wives - The Queens
  2. Ex-Wives (Reprise) - The Queens †
  3. No Way - Catherine of Aragon
  4. Anne Boleyn (Interlude)
  5. Don't Lose Ur Head - Anne Boleyn
  6. Heart of Stone - Jane Seymour
  7. Haus of Holbein - Company
  8. Haus of Holbein (Playoff) - Company †
  9. Get Down - Anna of Cleves
  10. All You Wanna Do - Katherine Howard
  11. I Don't Need Your Love - Catherine Parr
  12. I Don't Need Your Love (Remix) - Catherine Parr & the Queens ††
  13. Six - The Queens
  14. Megasix - The Queens †

† Not included on the Studio Cast Recording.
†† Included as part of I Don't Need Your Love on the Studio Cast Recording.

Casts

Original Edinburgh and Cambridge Production

Venue Preview Opening Date Closing Date
Sweet Grassmarket, Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh, Scotland

3 August 2017 27 August 2017
ADC Theatre, Cambridge University

Cambridge, England

31 July 2017 11 October 2017 14 October 2017

Original Arts Theatre Production

Venue Performance dates
London Arts Theatre

London, England

  • 18 December 2017 (opening)
  • 8 January 2018
  • 15 January 2018
  • 22 January 2018 (closing)

UK Tours

2018 Tour
Venue Opening date Closing date
Norwich Playhouse

Norwich, England

11 July 2018 15 July 2018
Cambridge Arts Theatre

Cambridge, England

17 July 2018 21 July 2018
Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh, Scotland

1 August 2018 27 August 2018
London Arts Theatre

London, England

30 August 2018 14 October 2018
Rose Theatre

Kingston, England

31 October 2018 4 November 2018
NST Campus

Southampton, England

13 November 2018 17 November 2018
The Lowry

Salford, England

4 December 2018 16 December 2018
SEC Centre

Glasgow, Scotland

20 December 2018 30 December 2018
2019-20 Tour
Venue Opening date Closing date
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Guildford, England

24 October 2019 27 October 2019
Malvern Theatres

Malvern, England

29 October 2019 3 November 2019
Theatre Royal

Glasgow, Scotland

5 November 2019 10 November 2019
Rose Theatre

Kingston, England

12 November 2019 16 November 2019
Oxford Playhouse

Oxford, England

19 November 2019 23 November 2019
Milton Keynes Theatre,

Milton Keynes, England

25 November 2019 30 November 2019
The Lowry

Salford Quays, England

3 December 2019 11 January 2020
Chichester Festival Theatre

Chichester, England

14 January 2020 19 January 2020
Wales Millennium Centre

Cardiff, Wales

21 January 2020 25 January 2020
Everyman Theatre

Cheltenham, England

27 January 2020 1 February 2020
Festival Theatre

Edinburgh, Scotland

4 February 2020 9 February 2020
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Aylesbury, England

11 February 2020 15 February 2020
Theatre Royal

Bath, England

18 February 2020 23 February 2020
Liverpool Playhouse Theatre

Liverpool, England

3 March 2020 7 March 2020
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Wolverhampton, England

10 March 2020 16 March 2020
Cancelled 2020 Drive-In Tour
Venue Opening date Closing date
The National Bowl

Milton Keynes, England

4 August 2020 9 August 2020
Central Docks

Liverpool, England

11 August 2020 16 August 2020
Leeds East Airport

Leeds, England

11 August 2020 16 August 2020
University of Bolton Stadium

Bolton, England

18 August 2020 23 August 2020
Teesside International Airport

Teesside, England

19 Augusts 2020 23 Augusts 2020
Lincolnshire Showground

Lincolnshire, England

25 August 2020 27 August 2020
Bristol Filton Airfield

Bristol, England

25 August 2020 30 August 2020
Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham, England

29 August 2020 30 August 2020
Newmarket Racecourse

Newmarket, England

1 September 2020 3 September 2020
The Royal Highland Centre

Edinburgh, Scotland

1 September 2020 6 September 2020
Resorts World Arena

Birmingham, England

5 September 2020 10 September 2020
Colesdale Farm

London, England

8 September 2020 12 September 2020
2021-22 Tour
Venue Opening date Closing date
The Marlowe Theatre

Canterbury, England

8 June 2021 27 July 2021
Leeds Grand Theatre

Leeds, England

29 June 2021 3 July 2021
Winter Gardens Theatre

Blackpool, England

7 July 2021 10 July 2021
Theatre Royal

Newcastle, England

12 July 2021 17 July 2021
Hull New Theatre

Hull, England

*cancelled

20 July 2021 25 July 2021
Theatre Royal

Plymouth, England

28 July 2021 1 August 2021
Theatre Royal

Brighton, England

3 August 2021 7 August 2021
Mayflower Theatre

Southampton, England

10 August 2021 15 August 2021
Cliffs Pavilion

Southend, England

17 August 2021 22 August 2021
Oxford Playhouse

Oxford, England

24 August 2021 5 September 2021
Theatre Royal

Nottingham, England

7 September 2021 12 September 2021
Birmingham Hippodrome

Birmingham, England

14 September 2021 18 September 2021
Norwich Theatre Royal

Norwich, England

20 September 2021 25 September 2021
Curve Theatre

Leicester, England

28 September 2021 3 October 2021
Grand Opera House

Belfast, Northern Ireland

6 October 2021 10 October 2021
Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Dublin, Ireland

12 October 2021 16 October 2021
Churchill Theatre

Bromley, London

19 October 2021 23 October 2021
Everyman Theatre

Cheltenham, England

25 October 2021 6 November 2021
New Victoria Theatre

Woking, England

8 November 2021 13 November 2021
Princess Theatre

Torquay, England

15 November 2021 20 November 2021
Milton Keynes Theatre

Milton Keynes, England

23 November 2021 27 November 2021
Theatre Royal

Bath, England

29 November 2021 11 December 2021
The Lowry

Salford, England

14 December 2021 9 January 2022
Theatre Royal

Newcastle, England

11 January 2022 22 January 2022
The Orchard Theatre

Dartford, England

25 January 2022 30 January 2022
Royal & Derngate

Northampton, England

15 February 2022 19 February 2022
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Guildford, England

1 March 2022 12 March 2022
Festival Theatre

Edinburgh, Scotland

15 March 2022 26 March 2022
Hull New Theatre

Hull, England

5 April 2022 10 April 2022
Liverpool Empire Theatre

Liverpool, England

12 April 2022 16 April 2022
Lyceum Theatre

Sheffield, England

19 April 2022 30 April 2022
Wales Millennium Centre

Cardiff, Wales

3 May 2022 14 May 2022
Rose Theatre

Kingston, England

17 May 2022 29 May 2022
Congress Theatre

Eastbourne, England

31 May 2022 5 June 2022
Theatre Royal

Glasgow, Scotland

14 June 2022 19 June 2022
Bristol Hippodrome Theatre

Bristol, England

20 September 2022 24 September 2022

West End Production


Opening date Closing date
London Arts Theatre

London, England

17 January 2019 15 March 2020
Lyric Theatre

London, England

5 December 2020 15 December 2020
21 May 2021 29 August 2021
Vaudeville Theatre

London, England

29 September 2021 1 May 2022

North American Tour

2019 Tour
Venue Previews begin Opening date Closing date
Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Chicago, Illinois, USA

14 May 2019 22 May 2019 4 August 2019
American Repertory Theater

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

21 August 2019 24 August 2019 29 September 2019
Citadel Theatre

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 November 2019 2 November 2019 24 November 2019
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

29 November 2019 30 November 2019 22 December 2019
2022 Tour
Venue Previews Begin Opening Date Closing Date
CIBC Theatre

Chicago, Illinois, USA

29 March 2022 3 July 2022

Bliss Cruise Productions

Production
Venue
Opening date Closing date
Bliss 1.0 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Ship 6 September 2019 4 March 2020
Bliss 2.0 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Ship 13 March 2020 14 March 2020
Bliss 3.0 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Ship 26 October 2021 14 May 2022

Breakaway Cruise Production

Production
Venue
Opening date Closing date
Breakaway 1.0 Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Ship 16 November 2019 11 March 2020
Breakaway 2.0 Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Ship 28 September 2021 March 2022

Australian/New Zealand Tour

2020 Tour
Venue Opening Date Closing Date
Sydney Opera House

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

4 January 2020 5 March 2020
Comedy Theatre

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

*cancelled

23 April 2020 7 June 2020
Her Majesty's Theatre

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

*cancelled

11 June 2020 28 June 2020
The Opera House

Wellington, New Zealand

*cancelled

9 July 2020 19 July 2020
2021-22 Tour
Venue Opening Date Closing Date
Sydney Opera House

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

19 December 2021 2 April 2022
Canberra Theatre Centre

Canberra, New South Wales, Australia

23 April 2022 15 May 2022
Her Majesty's Theatre

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

21 May 2022 12 June 2022
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
New Zealand
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Broadway Production


Venue
Previews begin Previews end Opening date
Brooks Atkinson Theatre

New York City, New York, USA

13 February 2020 11 March 2020 12 March 2020 (cancelled)
17 September 2021 2 October 2021 3 October 2021

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Trivia

  • Before deciding on the title Six, Toby and Lucy brainstormed many other possible names for the show.[1]
    • They also considered the titles Sixth Harmony and Little Six, which are plays on popular girl groups Fifth Harmony and Little Mix.[2]
  • While writing the show, Toby and Lucy considered adding Hans Holbein as a character, as well as including the queens' children as backing vocalists; however, they instead decided that the cast would be comprised of the queens alone.[2]
  • There is one joke song in the musical, Wearing Yellow to a Funeral; however, it is not an actual song, as Anne is cut off by the other queens after only singing a partial line.
  • On 24 April 2020, Six released a video of every cast member of the show at the time performing the Ex-Wives/Six mashup. The Six portion of the video included 3000 fan videos as well.[3]
    • The video concept was developed by Grace Mouat and Danielle Steers.
  • Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, all productions of the show temporarily closed in March 2020.
    • In July 2020, a drive-in tour featuring the West End and 2019-20 UK Tour casts was announced; however, the tour was canceled before it begun after several cities experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases.[4]
    • The West End production briefly reopened in December 2020 at the Lyric Theatre, but soon closed again due to tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions in London.[5] It once again opened in May 2021.[6]
    • The UK Tour production reopened in June 2021 in Canterbury,[7] though the Hull run was rescheduled to April 2022 due to several cast members testing positive for COVID-19.[8]
    • The Broadway production inititally closed on 12 March 2020, which was previously set to be their opening night. It did not resume until 17 September 2021.
  • On 1 August 2021, Six had its first show ever in which none of the principal actresses performed; instead, all six roles were filled by alternates and swings.[9]
  • On 9 November 2021 during the Broadway production, Six had its first ever performance in which every role was played by a person of color. The cast was comprised of Adrianna Hicks as Catherine of Aragon, Andrea Macasaet as Anne Boleyn, Keirsten Hodgens as Jane Seymour, Brittney Mack as Anna of Cleves, Samantha Pauly as Katherine Howard, and Anna Uzele as Catherine Parr.
    • Nine days later on 18 November 2021, the West End production also had its first performance in which every role was played by a person of color. The cast was comprised of Paisley Billings as Catherine of Aragon, Amanda Lindgren as Anne Boleyn, Claudia Kariuki as Jane Seymour, Dionne Ward-Anderson as Anna of Cleves, Tsemaye Bob-Egbe as Katherine Howard, and Meesha Turner as Catherine Parr.
  • Throughout Six's four-year history, only one performance has ever been cancelled for reasons unrelated to COVID-19; the 14 July 2019 evening performance of the West End production. [10]
  • Productions are being planned for China, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and the Norwegian Getaway cruise ship.

References

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