REVIEW: Six shows a new side to Henry VIII’s wives
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Six - Norwich Playhouse
We all remember the little rhyme about the wives of Henry VIII: 'Divorced, beheaded, died, Divorced, beheaded, survived.'
But what are the stories of the women themselves?
Are they to be pitied or celebrated? And isn't it funny, that we can't remember the names of the spouses of the other King Henries - Henry IV? Henry II? Don't have any rhymes about them, do we?
Henry VIII's wives have grabbed our imagination down the years. Perhaps there is a good reason for that.
You may also want to watch:
As imagined by co-writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, these are exceptional women that put their mark on history.
The ladies have girl power to rival the Spice Girls, and more punch than the whole #MeToo movement.
- 1 Latest situation on fuel sees more queues despite continued assurances
- 2 Former DJ and worker at Norfolk school was a 'deviant sexual predator'
- 3 Jailed in Norfolk: Paedophiles and man caught with £15k of cannabis
- 4 County welcomes tankers but motorists continue to queue for fuel
- 5 Seaside restaurant hit with zero food hygiene rating
- 6 Flowers left by road in tribute after man's death
- 7 Roadworks to be aware of in Norfolk this week
- 8 'It's looking bleak' - City taxi firms respond to panic-buying at the pumps
- 9 Aldi to open 100 new stores with eyes on towns in Norfolk
- 10 Norfolk scams: Rogue gardeners and fake energy salespeople
They celebrate their lives in a pumped-up marathon of anthems which tell their tales in boldly coined catchphrases.
Anne Boleyn sums up the Reformation she triggered in the lines: 'Everybody chill - It's totes God's will'.
And yet, despite the bravado, each of them feels trapped in Henry's shadow.
When the lights go up, they are all competing for the role of leading lady.
They think that they will earn the right to the most fame by proving that they are the King's greatest victim.
In a furious race to the limelight, they each try to extract the most pathos from the audience.
But as the evening warms up, with light show and a thumping sound-track, they prove that they are the masters of their own fate.
And when they stop fighting and bickering about men, they are unbelievably strong. This is not 'History' it's 'Herstory' - and they are determined to tell it the way it was for them.
It is an ambitious ask for a 75 minute piece.
But, just like the Reduced Shakespeare Company, this breezy and humorous re-imagining of familiar characters and events, allows us to think again about stories we thought we knew.