The London cast of SIX – photos supplied by The Playhouse
SIX –JULY 11-15
Get ready for a history lesson the likes of which you have never experienced before. The six wives of Henry VIII are set to share their story in the style of pop divas in the musical SIX heading to Norwich Playhouse this summer
Co-producer Kenny Wax, who is also behind the likes of Top Hat and The Play That Goes Wrong, explains more about what’s in store.
Norwich Eye: “Kenny, I understand you were first told about SIX by George Stiles, one-half of the songwriters Stiles and Drewe, and went along to see the very first version of it presented by the musical theatre society at Cambridge University with your daughter”.
Kenny Wax: ‘A 50-year-old man and a 16-year- old girl are very different markets but she said she really enjoyed it. If a show has crossed those two age categories, you feel you have un-wrapped the golden ticket and it is a bit of a Willy Wonka moment. We met the composer and the lyricist that night, and we started talking to them about the potential future of the show and what it could be.
From there, it was showcased at the Arts Theatre in London with a new director, cast and choreographer.
We were really thrilled with the results. Sometimes we are professional gamblers. As a professional producer, we really don’t know how a show is going to do and we put that on sale and all four performances were sold out before the first one has been seen. There was also a lot of gossip and chat about it. People do talk and they loved it.
Now it is set for a rebirth and a run starting at Norwich Playhouse on July 11-15 before moving on to Cambridge, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the West End. What is in store? Well the band will perform on stage and it is concert-style like Chicago and Five Guys Named Moe. There are definitely several more layers in SIX than just a revue show. You have all the current girl power sisterhood stuff alongside all this really interesting Tudor history. I have never studied that period of history but I can tell you about each of the queens. During the show, you learn about these six very different women. It is Hamilton-esque in that we are taking these historic characters and presenting them in a modern vernacular so there is no reference to race, colour, shape, size or type. They are just wonderful women and portrayed as we do these days with modern-day casting and it makes it very interesting and very unusual’.
“And it has a wide range of musical styles doesn’t it including pop, r ‘n’ b and ballads”?
‘You never get bored as you never know what is coming. Each queen tells her story and there is the interaction between the queens which starts off being competitive and then becomes quite sisterly’.
“So city audiences are in for something very special, then”?
‘It is a fabulous show and something very different. Just the opportunity to say that you were there at the beginning is a great opportunity. To be there right at the beginning of something and be an opinion former than a follower is quite something. SIX is going to be around for many years to come and when it comes back to Norwich again, I would love for it to be at the Theatre Royal and you won’t be able to get a ticket’.
SIX, Norwich Playhouse, Wednesday 11-Sunday 15 July at 7.30pm, Friday 13 July at 10pm, and Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July at 3pm. Tickets £20-£22.
To book, log on to www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk or 01603 598598.
Read more about SIX in our earlier article: https://norwicheye.co.uk/whats-on/west-end-bound-stage-hit-helps-heralds-new-chapter-in-playhouse-history/