Six the Musical review – Vaudeville Theatre, London ★★★★☆

Nikki Bentley as Aragon and the cast of SIX the Musical. Photo: Pamela Raith

by Natalie Evans

Celebrating an extra special Sixth birthday this year, SIX the musical continues to reign supreme over the Vaudeville Theatre and its loyal subjects. And for good reason.

Right from the start, this production is, in a word, electric. The score, expertly executed by the onstage band (better known as the Ladies in Waiting), hits you straight away like a tonne of bedazzled bricks, leaving you unable to keep a smile from forming. Additionally, the costumes, set, and lighting work seamlessly to create a stunning visual that does an incredible job of bringing renaissance aesthetic motifs into a very modern, appropriately concert-like design.

Then of course we have the Queens themselves; Nikki Bentley, Thao Therese Nguyen, Kayleigh McKnight, Reca Oakley, Inez Budd and Janiq Charles. You would never guess that this cast hadn’t been rocking their iconic diamante clad corsets since the very first iteration back in Edinburgh when hearing how effortlessly their voices intertwined – each managing to have such an individually identifiable vocal quality during their solos, while also harmonizing together with utter perfection. I must also offer a particular shout out to Kayleigh McKnight’s rendition of Heart of Stone as honestly one of the most goosebump inducing ballads that I have ever witnessed – just beautiful.

The Cast of Six the Musical. Photo: Pamela Raith

While I admit this is a point of personal preference, my one disappointment with the production was the frequent repetition of the same jokes, just delivered in a minorly different format that were equally obvious and indulgent. (We get it Anne Boleyn – you were beheaded!). Considering that each song is so cleverly written, with clearly very carefully chosen lyrics – I just expected a little more of this razor sharp wit from the dialogue than I feel that we were given.

However, this fortunately does not take away from how much sheer fun this show is, and, more importantly, how importantly empowering. Sequins and sass aside, SIX shines a light on some still ever present home truths about the female experience, especially when encountering men in power and so serves as a much needed, overdue lesson in herstory.

SIX is at Vaudeville Theatre, London, currently booking to 28 Sepember 2024. It is also touring across the UK