SIX: The Musical, Theatre Review, Belfast’s Grand Opera House, April 11th, 2023

By Conor O’Neill

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived… you’d have thought wife number five, Katherine Howard would’ve seen a pattern forming, but no, all of Henry the VIII’s wives thought they were the ‘one’. He was fickle to say the least.

Strange to think this phenomenon started life as a student production playing a conference hall at the Edinburgh festival. Since then it’s went on to winning multiple Tony Awards, has been performed all over the world, picked up more accolades for its run on Broadway, before getting the royal seal of approval by playing at Queen Elizabeth the second’s platinum jubilee.

I am of course writing about the musical Six.

The plot is easy to follow. The six wives of Henry VIII tell their stories through the medium of song and dance. No set changes, same for the costumes, just 80 minutes of superbly directed and choreographed, non-stop entertainment. Throw in a history lesson and this is upbeat musical depravity without the guilt.

The Ladies In Waiting provide the perfect backdrop as the fourpiece band run the gauntlet of genres. Everything from hip-hop to rock, rapturous rave and big power ballads are taken on and delivered.

It’s more of a concert than a musical. Hence the no time for an interval. And to be honest a break would wreck the flow. From the off the show is one of pure indulgence. There a re gags within gags, multiple references to a younger audience, I never knew what ‘well jel’ was until it was explained to me. History for a modern, youthful audience.

The choreography of Carrie-Ann Ingroille is foot perfect, lights, costume and set, totally spot on. It’s easy to see why Six has been received so well. As a night out it’s unsurpassable.

That’s the good news, here’s the bad: Six is a sell-out in Belfast. A friend had to travel to Dublin to quench her daugher’s thirst for this show.

But you may be lucky. There might be a cancellation or two.

To try your luck visit or phone the box office on 02890 241919.

Six runs up to and including Saturday April 15th.


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