Touring – reviewed at The Lowry, Salford
It’s not too often that I get to go to the theatre with my whole family, so a festive trip to the Lowry to see Six the Musical was a definite treat over Christmas. And to see it from the front row too… quite the experience. I’ve seen the show one and a bit times before so I knew what to expect, but the thrill of being that close really did make a difference (even if I was convinced that Katherine Howard was going to kick me in the face at some point or other!).
And it was great to see all 10 of us really enjoy ourselves, grandparents to grandkids (and me the middle child, what else?). Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’ anarchic history – sorry, herstory – lesson has lost none of its effervescence or energy in this touring version. It helps of course that it is a relatively lo-tech show to run but it had clearly settled well in Salford for this Christmas sojourn as it was packed out and an extra week had been added to the schedule too.
Naturally, I loved all six performances equally. But I do have to say that Lauren Byrne has a simply gorgeous voice as Jane Seymour (I don’t envy anyone trying to match her ‘Heart of Stone’ at the singalong) and I kinda fell in love with Athena Collins (Catherine Parr) who has the kind of fabulously warm stage presence that will definitely make me watch out for what she does next. We were blessed with Jennifer Caldwell’s Anne Boleyn, as ever, go #TeamAlternates.
As well as providing a welcome opportunity for performers to really cut loose, Six also – sadly – remains at the cutting edge of the zeitgeist. As film award season swings into gear once again with its age-old celebration of the male, pale and stale, there’s something inspiring about the deserved success (Broadway beckons in a couple of months) of a theatrical story forefronting female voices this way, written by a queer man and a woman, pushing at the boundaries of convention. Don’t miss out.