Henry's six wives X Factor style in Chichester

Review by Gary Shipton


REVIEW: Six, Chichester Festival Theatre, until Saturday

Anyone who fears the Meghan and Harry headlines will have damaged the monarchy should take heart from this vibrant touring musical Six.

This is the story - told more X Factor style than learned history - of King Henry VIII and his six wives.

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    And if there's a message at the end of its whirlwind one hour and 21 minutes it's that King Henry continues to fascinate 500 years on not because of his momentous decisions of state but because of his extraordinary array of spouses and how he disposed of them.

    Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived is the rhyme that most school kids used to remember the six.

    This new production - a wonderful cross between girl power and some superbly crafted lyrics - sets each of the six wives up in a bizarre competition to persuade the audience which was the most significant.

    It's a foot-tapping romp that gets the audience to its feet, with no interval to break the momentum.

    The perfect elixir in a windy, rainy January and one that not only guaranteed an audience tapping their way out the theatre but that they will not forget the order of those six historic names in a hurry.

    Gary Shipton