The costumes were amazing, the choreography was brilliant (THE POWER POSES!)… Just go and see SIX immediately! It’s sold out in my home-town (I know because I immediately tried to get tickets to go again) but everyone should see it on tour.
Each song told the story of a different one of the wives, as each of them battle to convince the audience who had it worst during their life with Henry, so they can be crowned the winning queen. No spoilers but you’ve had like, nearly five centuries to catch up so… Yeah, most of these women had it baaaad. Their stories are pretty tragic, all except Anne of Cleves, who was divorced for not looking enough like her official portrait and then sent off to live alone in a palace. And get this, this absolute (and literal) queen, put her portrait up in her palace for everyone to see. Power move.
The story that hit me the hardest was definitely Catherine Howard’s story. As it was told, the song evolved from this young girl who was feeling powerful in discovering her sexuality, to someone who was forced and coerced into sex by men. It was actually pretty harrowing to watch, but an excellent recontextualisation of what women likely had to go through to get by in that era as wives and daughters of powerful men.
The reimaginings of all of the wives’ characters were really funny – it was so well written. All the songs are bangers as well, and had us all up and dancing, whooping and singing along. I have been listening to the songs days later and singing my head off. You could feel the energy in the room, everyone was on their feet, cheering for these powerful feminine figureheads.
The ability to take history and make it work for us was liberating, because by re-framing the stories we tell through a feminist lens, it allows us to understand as best we can the lives of the women who actually experienced these wrongs. We can’t rewrite history, but we can speak about women for the importance and power they were able to hold and not for how they were narrated by men. After all, who would remembered Henry VIII if it weren’t for his wives?
Since this is a smaller blog post than usual I’ll also update you all on my weekend! I went to see a Burlesque show which was also amazing and soooo fun. and it was also my friend’s wedding day and my other friend’s 30th! Had such a good time but oh my goodness, I’m burned out now – need plenty of rest! Meanwhile, he’s a photo dump!