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REVIEW: SIX The Musical at Wolverhampton Grand

If ever there was an anticipated West End transfer, then SIX The Musical is it. The homegrown histo-remixed pop-concert musical by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, has been described by critics as ‘the most uplifting piece of new British musical theatre’ - and the show absolutely met that standard this evening.

Running for just over an hour, with no interval, there's a number of ways that SIX reinvents musical theatre. From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st century girl power.

Staged very much in the style of a concert, this production is loud, seductive and in your face, commanding your attention from the moment the first note hits. With five Olivier nominations and seven from WhatsOnStage - including 'Best Off West End Production', which the London incarnation of the show won in 2019, SIX is very much a tour de force and a piece of theatre to be reckoned with.

The show mixes that historical aspect with a myriad of modern references and a nod to the fact that, even a few hundred years later, there's still a lot of relevance in this story. It's clear to see why SIX has become one of the most popular shows on the planet. With catchy songs, amazing choreography and six of the most talented women in musical theatre on stage, alongside an all female band, this is ultimately the show that so many musicals wish they could be.

Normally, this is the part where I rave about a handful of the cast - but I think that would be near impossible without acknowledging that what made this show tick is the energy and the chemistry between all six of our leading ladies. Each had an exceptional voice, commanding stage presence and bought a personality-driven slant to the roles which was well received by the audience.

Maddison Bulleyment played a sassy, quick witted Anne Boleyn alongside an equally up front performance from Jodie Steele as Catherine Howard. Harriet Watson stepped up as Catherine of Aragon and didn't look out of place - rather she looked like she'd been part of the tribe since day one.

However, for so many in the audience, the powerhouse vocals of Lauren Byrne as Jane Seymour, alongside the loud and proud performance from Shekinah McFarlane as Anna of Cleeves really stole the show.

With equally stunning staging and lighting, SIX The Musical is a behemoth of a production which doesn't rely on anything other than pure, driven talent to succeed. And long may their reign at the top of the tree last. 

SIX The Musical plays at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 14th March 2020. For more information, or to get your tickets, head online to grandtheatre.co.uk.

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