A Revolutionary Show that Reigns Supreme

In the world of musical theater, one show has taken the world by storm with its infectious tunes, powerful storytelling, and empowering message. SIX has swiftly risen to become a sensational hit, captivating audiences around the globe. With its unique blend of history, contemporary pop music, and an all-female cast, this innovative production reimagines the lives of Henry VIII’s six wives.

SIX with book, music, and lyrics by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, is a modern retelling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII presented as a pop concert, as the Queens take turns singing and telling their stories to see who suffered the most due to Henry and should, therefore, become the group’s lead singer.

A quick history lesson in case you’ve forgotten: Henry VIII—King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547—had a driving desire for a male heir. This pursuit led him to divorce two wives and have two wives beheaded; it led to religious revolution and the creation of the Church of England, the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the Reformation. The decisions that Henry made during his reign would shape Britain’s history all the way up to the present.

But to paraphrase the queens of SIX, the average person probably wouldn’t know much about Henry VIII today if it weren’t for his wives.  So Marlow and Moss thought it was time to give them their due.

“Lucy and I were at Cambridge together,” remembers Marlow.  “In 2017 the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society asked for applications to take an original musical to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so I applied. When I got the gig I asked Lucy to write it with me. I said, ‘I have an idea for a pop concert musical with the six wives of Henry VIII. Do you want to write it with me?’”  Since that extraordinary Edinburgh Fringe debut, the show went to the West End in London and now has played Broadway, Australia, and various international tours.

The Queens you see in the show are influenced by three things: the historical Queens, pop icons, and the performers playing them. “SIX is told by the wives of Henry VIII—but as a girl group performing a pop concert for an audience,” says Moss. “They’re sick and tired of everyone arguing over who’s the most important wife, and the Queens decide to hold a competition between them: whoever had the worst time in her marriage to Henry VIII will be crowned the leading lady of the girl group. The pop concert consists of each Queen singing a solo in order to stake a claim for the spotlight—but, without wanting to give too much away, not everything goes according to plan.”

In their formative discussions about the show, Moss and Marlow developed a plan to act as a guidepost as they created the musical.  Their aims were: to provide a different perspective on the six Queens separate from their status as wives, giving the female historical figures a voice to tell their own experiences; to show that even 500 years later there are still parallels to be found in the female experience; to use the pop concert genre to enable this fun, silly, comic, and powerful story to be told exclusively by women; and ultimately to do it while acknowledging the silliness and campiness of the pop concert genre.

The musical they ultimately created turns history on its head by placing the focus on the wives. Each queen takes the stage to reclaim her story through electrifying pop anthems. From Catherine of Aragon to Catherine Parr, the audience is introduced to these iconic historical figures with a contemporary twist. SIX celebrates the strength, resilience, and agency of these women, giving them a voice that had long been silenced by history.

One of the defining features SIX is its sensational soundtrack. The songs are infused with modern pop elements, showcasing the remarkable talent of Marlow and Moss as songwriters. From the infectious opening number, “Ex-Wives,” to the rousing finale, “Six,” each song is an earworm that stays with the audience long after the show ends. The lyrics are witty and sharp, blending historical references with contemporary language, creating a seamless fusion of past and present.

SIX has become a groundbreaking phenomenon. Its empowering narrative, infectious music, and captivating performances have propelled it to the forefront of the musical theatre landscape. By giving a voice to historical figures often relegated to the shadows, SIX inspires audiences with its celebration of female empowerment and resilience. This revolutionary show continues to reign supreme, giving audiences a royally fun experience along the way.

About the Show

From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a Euphoric Celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over!

SIX has won 23 awards in the 2021/2022 Broadway season, including the Tony Award® for Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. 

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