Nominated for five Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, the sell-out international smash hit Six comes billed as the “phenomenon everyone is losing their head over.”
It plays Chichester Festival Theatre from January 14-19.
From Tudor queens to pop princesses, Henry VIII’s ladies finally take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a 90-minute celebration of 21st century girl power.
As Maddison Bulleyment, who plays Anne Boleyn, says: “The best way I can describe it is as Little Mix meets the six wives of Henry VIII. It’s an hour and a half of singing and dancing and a celebration of women and feminism.
“It doesn’t feature Henry. It just features the six wives, and each queen has her own song. It is like a pop X Factor style competition to see which queen had the worst life.
“Each queen sings in her own different genre. Catherine of Aragon is kind of Jessie J and Beyonce; Ann Boleyn is Lily Allen and Avril Lavigne, Jane Seymour is Adele and Cleeves is very much Nicky Minaj.
“I am Ann Boleyn, and I love playing her. I think she has been so misconstrued in history.
“She has been painted as the original womaniser, the original seductress, someone who almost from birth decided that she was going to steal her man and steal her crown. But the idea really is that she had her family pulling her one way and the king pulling her the other… and she just finds that she is married to Henry.
“But she is her own person. There is a trend through the whole show that paints the queens as someone in charge of their own story, not victims of Henry, not just someone that he married, but as women with their own stories to tell and that is what they are doing.”
The point is that there is much, much more to them than the old rhyme Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived…. as the show sets out to show us.
“Six started at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017, and it did amazingly well. It did a mini-tour around the UK and went back to Edinburgh Festival the following year where it was completely sold out, off the charts, and everybody loved it.
“It had a week’s run at the Arts Theatre and then it stayed in London and it has stayed there ever since.
“There is a West End production currently, and we are the touring production, and it has also been touring the US and is about to go into Broadway. And it is just rehearsing to go into Sydney.
“I think seeing a group of women that have previously just been known by that rhyme and seeing them in charge of their own space and owning their own space and their own stories is just great fun and very uplifting.
“A lot of young audiences really love the show, especially young girls, but we really do get a mix of audiences of all ages.”
It absolutely isn’t something just for the girls, Maddie insists.
“It really does appeal to a very broad audience. Lots and lots of different people are coming to see it.
“We have been having really varied audiences.”
And Maddie promises that you really will come away knowing a lot more about the six queens as individuals in their own rights.
“It has got that Horrible Histories vibe to it – Horrible Histories mixed with a gig.”