Musical Charting the Lives of Henry VIII's Six Wives Heads to the U.S. — with a Twist!
The producer of Six hopes that Prince Harry will come and see the Tudor-royal themed show
A new royal-themed musical is heading to the U.S. – and it’s going to have you dancing in the aisles.
The British musical Six (tag line: “Divorced. Beheaded. LIVE!”) re-imagines the six ill-fated wives of Henry VIII as a pop group. Rewriting history with a strong dose of female empowerment, each of Henry’s wives compete in a musical battle with hilarious and touching results.
“Despite these terrible things happening to these women 500 years ago, we have been able to bring a very positive message to our modern-day audiences because a lot of those themes are still around,” the musical’s producer, Kenny Wax, tells PEOPLE. “It’s a new way of bringing this bit of history to a younger audience as well as retelling it to the older ones.”
From Catherine of Aragon (Henry’s first wife who he controversially divorced) to Catherine Parr (his final wife, who outlived Henry by one year), all six of the Tudor Queens who (briefly) won the hearts of Henry VIII over his lifetime sing, rap and harmonize their way through a 75-minute performance that’s both uplifting and tragic. (Imagine a Tudor history lesson as told in concert by Beyonce and Ariana Grande and you get the idea!)
Nominated for five Olivier Awards, the show has been compared to the hit musical Hamilton.
“The only comparison is that we are both re-telling history,” says Wax, who first saw the show in 2017 in Cambridge with his 16-year-old daughter. “History has been told for hundreds of years by male voices, and this show is about empowerment, women’s rights to speak up and have their voices heard.”
He adds, “These are heavy themes but the entertainment is hopefully fun, witty and clever.”
Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, both former students at the U.K.’s Cambridge University, the show was a success at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2017 and since opening at the Arts Theatre in London’s Leicester Square, it’s been sold out every night.
“Within the next year, we will have opened in six countries, the U.S., Toronto, Japan, Korea and Germany and we get about 750,000 stream of the songs every day, not to mention film and album offers, the success has been extraordinary!” says Wax.
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For now, the team are focusing on bringing the critically acclaimed production to Chicago. Opening at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on May 14, it will run for approximately 14 weeks.
“Next spring, we hope to be in New York, we might start off on Broadway, let’s see!” Wax says.
“We think they would absolutely love it and they are the perfect audience profile really,” enthuses the producer, adding: “A couple of years ago, Prince Harry came to see The Play That Goes Wrong [also produced by Wax], he met all the cast – he has a great sense of humor.”
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