SIX the Musical: explosively changing history to HERstory

June 24, 2022

Electric, vibrant, and beautifully challenging, SIX The Musical was met with a well-deserved standing ovation on opening night at the perfectly intimate setting of Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre. An energetic buzz filled the air as the audience, wearing typical Melbourne Winter black interspersed with a thorough dose of theatrical sparkle, eagerly awaited the performance of this renowned, award-winning musical hit.

SIX The Musical is simply brilliant. Through incredibly well-written and performed music and song, its luminous and reflective core speaks to every member of the entranced audience. Every word, movement and expression explores the pitfalls of ‘competition’ when ‘connection’ must be the primary goal, the dichotomy of the patriarchal power system that relies so heavily on the downplayed, yet vital, involvement of the feminine, and the similarity of experience through shared understanding of what it is to truly suffer, deeply love, and completely own one’s truth.

Opening night cast:

  • Sassy Catherine of Aragon – Phoenix Jackson Mendoza
  • Rule-breaking Anne Boleyn – Kala Gare
  • Loyal Jane Seymour – Loren Hunter
  • Independent Anna of Cleves – Kiana Daniele, 
  • Playful Katherine Howard – Chelsea Dawson
  • Empowering Catherine Parr – Swing Shannen Alyce Quan (Vidya Makan)

The ‘Six Wives’ of Henry VIII challenge the history books, telling their true stories through modern words, clever lyrics, and sensational choreography. Astounding to see and hear such perfection, the timing of the cast, both musically and physically, explodes with such impeccable precision that the performance seems almost completely spontaneous. Not a single mis-step, not a beat missed or note flat, all the performing cast (including the impeccable ‘Ladies in Waiting’ live band) are meticulous in their execution. 

SIX Australian 2021/2022 cast. Photo credit: James Morgan – Getty Images.

SIX is a musical adventure. With a nod to modern artists such as Sia, Adele, Beyoncè, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, and Alicia Keys (to name but a few), the six ‘Ex-Wives’ switch from singing exquisite six-part harmonies, to Berlin Synth Pop, to heart-rending ballads. The performers’ characterisation and comedic timing are wonderful, drawing the audience along with every song and spoken word. In addition, the relatively simple stage set is completely enlivened by the cleverly created – and super sparkly – costumes.

Wholly engrossing, SIX is 75 minutes of highly-professional, rollicking fun underpinned by serious political, religious, and social challenges. And yet in 2017, SIX was simply a student production performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a 100-person room. The writers, Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow, surely deserve much praise and recognition for this astounding feat.

Powerful and explosive, this dramatic interpretation of ‘HERstory’ speaks to anyone who has ever been marginalised, heartbroken, or unheard. With every performance a standout, this musical is a ‘winner’ in all conceivable ways.

Performances at The Comedy Theatre until August 7th 2022.


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