Remember your school history lessons and being taught about King Henry VIII and his six wives, chanting the ‘Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived’ mantra?
Now this familiar tale has become a modern musical in the form of Six, where the Tudor Queens turn into Pop Princesses, claiming back the narrative and remixing 500 years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st Century girl power.
This loud and proud show – currently captivating audiences in the West End – was taken on by Performing Arts students at New City College Havering Sixth Form with a Teen Edition. And what an incredible job they did with it!
The six wives took to the stage to re-tell history – or ‘herstory’ – from their point of view in a high energy, sassy and funny performance, with a belting soundtrack to match.
Right from the start of the show, which is more like a concert than a play, the six wives commanded attention, bouncing off each other with superb comic timing, and coping with the fast-paced lyrics of the catchy songs.
Students from the college’s A Level Music course formed the live band to accompany the actors, creating the string and trumpet arrangements themselves. The band was excellent and were note perfect throughout.
First up to tell her tale was Catherine of Aragon, played by Esther Adewuyi. She had great stage presence and was bold and fierce, taking the role as a real badass monarch to another level with her powerful voice. She really gave it her all as she recounted through the song lyrics how she was discarded by Henry for failing to provide him with a son.
Next up was Anne Boleyn, played by pocket-sized Milly Garrard, who gave 110 per cent in portraying the fun-loving, chaotic queen who was finally beheaded. Her acting, dancing and vocal skills were showcased brilliantly and she stole the limelight with her one-liners.