SIX the Musical | Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide – Review
For just three weeks, this sassy, pop-fuelled musical is taking over Her Majesty’s Theatre. The focus? The ill-fated, six wives of Henry VIII.
by Carla Caruso
Could there be a more interesting concept?
The tragic tales of the six wives of Henry VIII – Britain’s Tudor King – are retold in this musical using pop music and wit.
Throw out the idea of movies like The Other Boleyn Girl. The ‘bad-ass monarchs’ in SIX use modern-day lingo like ‘obvs’ and ‘totes’ and belt out lines like: ‘You said that I tricked ya ‘cause I didn’t look like my profile picture’. This is while wearing spiky hairpieces, short hemlines, and sparkly ankle boots.
SIX began as a student production at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has since become a global phenomenon, scoring eight Tony Award nominations. The Aussie tour is produced by Louise Withers, Michael Coppel, and Linda Bewick.
During the 75-minute musical, the sob stories of each wife are largely told through song, with no set or costume changes (or intermission). And each woman truly does have her own sad yarn to spin.
‘Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.’ This was what happened to each of the wives, in order, as was splashed across a merchandise T-shirt at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
SIX makes Henry VIII’s queens – from 1509 to 1547 – battle it out in a Voice-style contest to see who has the most tragic tale: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, or Katherine Parr.
The upbeat, Ariana Grande-style ditties will get under your skin – and worm into your ear for days after. I also found it helpful to listen to the SIX album on Spotify before catching the performance for a little exposure beforehand.
Anne Boleyn (played by Kala Gare) provides the laughs throughout with quips like “don’t lose your head”, and in response to “what hurts more than a severed heart?” “A severed head.”
It feels a little strange to laugh at such dark subject matter, which also covers mistresses and miscarriages. But the buffer of five-hundred years between now and then helps.
And there is a moment of quiet reflection when the ladies begin to ponder whether they should be making light of such ‘trauma and abuse’ and if they just want to be known for being some wrinkly bloke’s wives.
The musical ends on a high note with the women reclaiming their narratives and their moments in ‘herstory’.
On opening night, it was also great to see many mums and daughters attending together to see the all-female cast (and backing instrumentalists). Prepare to hum the tracks all the way home!
Warning: This show has strobe lighting, theatrical haze and loud music. Some minor curse words are sprinkled throughout too. Also, all patrons are advised to wear masks.
The age suitability for the show is for 10 yrs+. Lyrics include sexual language and as described above, adult themes.
Prices start at:
- Premium | $105.00
- A Reserve | $99.50
- B Reserve | $84.50
- C Reserve | $69.50
For more information and all enquiries, please visit the Adelaide Festival Centre website here.
What: SIX the Musical
When: Saturday 21 May – Sunday 12 June 2022
Where: Her Majesty’s Theatre | 58 Grote St, Adelaide
Who: Ages 10+
Photos by Carla Caruso for Play & Go (where marked) and by Her Majesty’s Theatre.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Want to get all the latest events and activities straight to your inbox?
Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter below to keep up to date with our latest posts and find out all the best events & activities for Adelaide families. Newsletters are only sent once a week, and you may sometimes get a special offer exclusively for our subscribers only!