Six is the Best Modern British Musical

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

In July of this year I discovered Six the Musical, I finally gave into the endless Youtube recommendations and watched the Megasix it kept throwing at my face. At first, I thought it was kind of stupid and I couldn’t understand it. Was it technically a musical? Is it just Hamilton all over again? However, upon seeing the show in Glasgow at the beginning of the month, my questions were answered.

In case you weren’t aware, the show basically centres around the six wives of Henry VIII in the form of a pop concert. Each queen gets their moment to sing their story as they try to decide who had the worst experience with Henry. By the end of the show they realise that we shouldn’t compare each other and instead should celebrate what they did as women rather than just as “one of six”. The show concludes with the queens rewriting the story and expressing that they don’t need Henry’s love, all they need is Six! Women supporting women, yay!!

The show’s premise may be corny but is extremely uplifting and makes you feel inspired beyond any show I’ve ever seen before. However, it also has incredible emotional depth. Almost all of the queens were fucked over somehow: Aragon was divorced for no reason other than the fact Henry got bored, Boleyn literally lost her head, Seymour died in childbirth, Cleves, although she was thriving, was still told she wasn’t attractive enough, Howard was continuously assaulted her whole life, and Parr was forced to leave the man she loved to marry the King. Despite being a show based on humour, the emotional moments were heavy and really made you think about the treatment of women throughout history and how they never got a chance to redeem themselves when they were alive.

As for its relation to Hamilton, I do see the links. They are both shows based off of history and use a form of music you wouldn’t normally expect in musical theatre (Hamilton is mainly rap, Six sounds like modern pop music). Other than that, they are no more links. Hamilton tells the life of Alexander Hamilton and the people surrounding him, Six only really discusses the queens at hand. Could Six be inspired by Hamilton? Possibly, but Hamilton is so influential in the musical theatre world that it could be argued that any musical from now on with a historical basis could be critiqued for copying Hamilton. Therefore, it’s not fair to compare the two, they’re both extremely different musicals and amazing in their own right.

If you can see Six, please do! I came out feeling emotionally drained, entertained, informed, and inspired. They’re currently on a tour all across the UK until next year whilst still having productions on the West End, soon to be on Broadway, soon to be in Australia, and on several cruise liners. Aka- Six is about to take over the world so you should be ahead of the game.

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