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Toby Marlow, Lucy Moss and The Original Album Cast Celebrate The SIX Vinyl Release

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The SIX team reunited at Whitehall's Historic Banqueting Hall

SIX

Since premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, SIX has exploded onto the musical theatre scene. Audiences across the world just can't get enough of this pop-punk spin on history's most famous ex-wives, leading to the professional release of its album in 2018.

Now, three years after that release, it's clear the only way to celebrate is to get down and party in style at Whitehall's Banqueting House - the very space where Henry VIII would have dined.

Hosted by Drag Race alum (and SIX superfan) Tia Kofi and live-streamed for members of the queendom across the world on TikTok, the original album cast reconnected with writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss to spill the tea on the recording process before unveiling the vinyl edition of the album.

The launch event began with a conversation between Marlow, Moss and Kofi, with the latter jokingly asking how the pair, who first wrote the show when studying at university, managed to turn a fringe production into a worldwide hit (Kofi herself having starred in several fringe productions).

Moss believes that SIX gained such traction "because it's pop music, which is the kind of stuff we love to listen to. I feel like it speaks to audiences that don't necessarily think of themselves as traditional musical theatre fans, but it also fits in with the other West End shows. It also came out at a time where everyone wanted to see more women claiming their space and kind of reclaiming their stories. I think it's the girl power meets the pop music." However, it's clear that it's also due to the duo's phenomenal talent and wit (combined with powerhouse vocals from every cast member that's taken to the stage).

Audiences were then given the opportunity to learn more about the writing process, including the decision to base each queen around a famous pop diva. This decision, notes Moss, was "half about what we wanted to do with the story, about what part of their story we wanted to tell, and part of it was dramaturgical - so with Catherine of Aragon, she had quite a sad story towards the end of her life.

"At first, we were kind of talking about how she could have this really beautiful ballad, but as it's the first song, it needs to be the song that sets the bar on what people are expecting from a feminist six wives story. It's kind of like the song that's like 'Henry, sit down shut up', and so we thought, what kind of genre is that in the pop world? Oh, it's like a Beyonce, 'Crazy in Love' or JLO kind of thing." From there, each queen was assigned their own pop diva - though this alters with each production as the performers are given the opportunity to channel their own favourite stars.

They were soon joined on stage by the Queens themselves, Renée Lamb, Christina Modestou, Natalie Paris, Aimie Atkinson, and Izuka Hoyle - with Genesis Lynea sending in a video message of support and love from an exclusive film set. Audiences (both virtual and in-person) were in for a royal treat as the cast and writer shared behind-the-scenes secrets from the production and recording process.

Moss and Marlow expressed that the success of both the show and album was beyond what they ever expected, though, added Moss, "there were some moments during the making of it, where the queens went into the booth and did the warm-up before they actually sang through, and were like, 'Oh my goodness they are so good'...and when we put the bass on the chorus of no way and we were like wait... this is amazing. This is kind of iconic."

Christina Modestou recalled how in the rehearsal stages of the show, they'd have moments of forgetfulness where they "would look at each other and wonder what comes next, what comes next, what comes next?" before running across the stage to ensure they were in the right place. Throughout the discussion, their bond is clear, showing that the sisterhood created in the show will last a lifetime.

The cast then performed a never-before-recorded version of MegaSix, much to the delight of audiences - with Marlow taking to the piano to accompany them. Before performing the song, Marlow discussed how the MegaSix "had gone through a series of drafts, and this was a draft that was performed for maybe two performances at the Arts Theatre by this wonderful cast...so let's see if we remember it." (Spoiler alert: they did.) The earlier version of the number that makes every audience member get on their feet is much slower - but is nevertheless a fantastic song.

If there wasn't already enough to celebrate, the queens were then surprised with Gold Discs to mark the massive number of album sales and streams they had received. This is hardly surprising, given that in early 2020 the album hit 100 million streams - making it the second most-streamed musical theatre album globally (with Hamilton in the lead).

However, with the Broadway and Australian Queens currently dusting off their crowns after Covid theatre closures, there's no way that this production shows any time of slowing down anytime soon - with more awards sure to follow.

You can pre-order your copy of the vinyl album here. To book tickets for the West End, Broadway or touring productions, head to the SIX website


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