Posts with the label Lucy Moss
Showing posts with label Lucy Moss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lucy Moss. Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

16 Her-storical Facts That Didn't Make it into Six The Musical


Six the Musical isn't only full of absolute boppage, but also a fair few facts about the Queens we know and love. However, the 75 minute musical can't cover everything so here are sixteen herstorical facts you may not know...

1. Twenty one years Henry’s junior, Catherine Parr was actually named after Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to whom Catherine’s mother had been a lady-in-waiting.

2. Before marrying Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon was married to his elder brother, Arthur. Arthur died of a mysterious “sweating sickness” shortly after their marriage, leaving Catherine a widow at just 16 years old.

3. Between Arthur’s death and her marriage to Henry, Catherine served Henry’s father (Henry VII) as the royal ambassador to Spain, making her the first female diplomat in European history.

4. The day after Anne Boleyn’s beheading, Henry got engaged to Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn’s lady in waiting. While she was publicly proclaimed queen, her coronation never went ahead due to an outbreak of plague.

5. Catherine Parr was a dedicated patron of the arts, and she encouraged the spread of Renaissance humanism. When Spanish scholar Juan Luis Vives wrote a book arguing that women had the right to an education, he dedicated it to Catherine.

6. As a young woman, Jane Seymour almost married William Dormer, the son of Sir Robert and Lady Dormer. However, William’s mother canceled their engagement because she thought Jane wasn’t noble enough.

7. Two months before her execution, Anne Boleyn helped pass the poor law which said that “local officials should find work for the unemployed”

8. Contemporaries held Holbein’s pictures to be accurate depictions of the girls—not flattering misrepresentations, as the legend came to describe them. However, both Anne of Cleves and her sister Amalia wore veils covering their faces most of the time, so it is believed that it was a struggle to get them to reveal themselves for portraits.

9. Jane Seymour divided opinions, with one courtier saying she was “not of much beauty,” whilst another named her “the fairest of all the king’s wives.”

10. Henry’s treatment of Catherine of Aragon after their divorce caused a major rift between Henry and his daughter, Mary. To help curb Mary’s resentment, Henry forbid the mother and daughter from communicating, but sympathetic servants secretly carried letters back and forth between them.

11. According to one legend, Henry wrote the famous, anonymous “Greensleeves” to seduce the woman who would become his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

12. Catherine of Aragon remained married to Henry VIII for 24 years. Their marriage lasted longer than all of Henry’s other marriages combined.

13. Catherine Howard was at least two, if not seven, years younger than Henry's daughter Mary, so she found it very hard to be a motherly figure

14. Catherine of Aragon spent her final days as the image of Catholic piety. Though she had access to all of Kimbleton Castle, she remained in a single room, fasting and praying. 

15. During his courtship with Anne of Cleves, Henry also considered her sister, Amalia! After Holbein returned and Henry saw both portraits of the women, he went with Anne over Amalia. Many historians agree that the choice probably had less to do with looks, and more because as the younger daughter, Amalia had less hereditary rights than her sister. 

16. Whilst still married to Anne, Henry began a flirtation with Jane Seymour, even giving her a locket with his own portrait inside!

So there you have it, sixteen facts about the Queens of the castle! Hopefully it won't be long until we can rock out like royalty at the theatre, but in the meantime, stay safe and channel your inner queen!

16 Her-storical Facts That Didn't Make it into Six The Musical

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Vicki Manser on Bringing Herstory to Life in Six the Musical | Interview

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss' musical Six is taking the West End, and the world by storm. Telling the stories of the six wives of Henry VIII through the form of an epic, high energy, hugely entertaining pop concert, it is a hit with fans of all ages. This is in part due to the fantastic writing but also thanks to the sublime cast who bring the queens to life every night.

Vicki Manser joined the show in January as an amazing alternate who gets a chance to don the crown of each queen and strut her stuff at the Arts Theatre. Vicki told us about the show, who she'd like to play her in her own pop concert musical and what she'd say to Henry VIII if she got the chance...




Can you describe the show in Six words? 

Seventy-Five minutes of pure genius! 


You recently finished starring in Bat Out of Hell which is a rock musical, how does that compare vocally to performing in a pop musical? 
In terms of vocal technique Rock and Pop sit quite closely together and share a lot of the same placements so in some ways very similar actually! But I definitely get to use more speech quality and character driven singing in Six for example in Boleyn’s song and Cleves’ song and I just love that the whole show is a gig/concert type vibe. I get to pretend to be a pop star for an hour and 15 minutes and that is SO FUN! Your vocals are also much more exposed in Six with there only being Six of you onstage as opposed to 20 plus so there is no where to hide…. Not that I tried to in Bat… I couldn’t even if I wanted to with that pink mullet haha! 


If you could go back to Henry VIII’s time which queens life would you like to live? 
NONE OF THEM!!!! Haha! As much as I love learning about the Tudor history and telling the Queens stories; I don’t fancy having to live any of their lives! But I guess if I absolutely HAD to, then being given your own palace in Richmond wouldn’t be too shabby. So Cleves it is! 


Which wife do you think had the worse life? 
Well, none of them had it fantastic, but Howard has gotta be up there with the worst. Her story of abuse started so young before Henry was even on the scene! She had to be married to him when she was just 16 and he was 49 and THEN she was beheaded…. I know, I know! 


If you could say anything to Henry VIII what would you say? 
‘Off with his head!’ HA PAYBACK!… no, I'm kidding… two wrongs don’t make a right guys…!


If your life was going to be made into a pop musical, who would you want to play you? 
I think my little sister, Kimberley Manser, is the perfect candidate for this! She knows me inside out and backwards so would play me and all my quirks down to a T! She's great at impressions and she always answers my phone to my boyfriend and he thinks it's me EVERY time! She’s also the most SENSATIONAL pop singer (not even being biased lol) so she’d make me sound really good! 


You’re Artistic Director of Sharpe Academy, tell us a bit about that 
I am indeed!!! So Sharpe Academy is a Musical Theatre school that's been running all across North West London for 11 years and this year we are opening a brand new college offering a 3 year Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre which I am so excited for! I trained with Sharpe before my professional training and then went on to be their company choreographer and now I'm Artistic Director for the college! I have always loved choreographing and teaching and I can't wait to share my knowledge with aspiring performers and help them to reach their goals! So if you have finished your GCSE's OR A levels and are looking for a vocational course and professional training to get you industry ready, come and check us out! 

We have a FANTASTIC team of people with tonnes of experience to offer in dance, singing, acting and acrobatics and are very fortunate to have our INCREDIBLE patrons supporting us; Carrie Hope Fletcher, Matt Lucas and Giovanni Span√≥. We also hold a Guinness World Record for the fastest theatrical production so that's pretty cool! Come join the Fam! 


What’s your top piece of advice for aspiring performers? 
The industry is HARD... there is no point in sugar coating it ... but if you're determined, you work hard, believe in yourself and NEVER give up .. then one day you will get there ... no matter how long it takes!



Six is currently running at the Arts Theatre and will be embarking on a UK Tour from October 2019

Interview by Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Danny Kaan

Vicki Manser on Bringing Herstory to Life in Six the Musical | Interview

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Six, Arts Theatre | Review


Six
Arts Theatre 
Reviewed on Tuesday 5th March 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★(★)

Yesterday, the 2019 Olivier Awards nominations were announced and Six are up for five. For a show which started as a university project, its pretty amazing and inspiring that Six is reaching such levels of stardom, and rightly so. Since debuting with the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society, showcasing at the Edinburgh Fringe, having a stint at the Arts Theatre, touring and now returning for a pretty open ended run at the Arts, Six has gone up and up, reaching stratospheric levels of brilliance and dazzle. Creators and besties, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss have somehow managed to capture every type of audience member with their inventive and exciting pop re-telling of Henry VIII's wives. It seems impossible that this show can get better but on my fifth visit, I can confirm: it can!

The concept is that each of Henry VIII's wives sing a song about the hardships of their time with him in the hope of having the most dramatic life story, and therefore becoming the Queen of Queens and leader of the girl group. The setup is the perfect instrument to provide showcase moments for each performer and allow each story to be told with enough depth to keep it interesting and entertaining. This is really an ensemble piece of theatre as each Queen has the opportunity for a solo, as well as backing up the others, so it's only right that all six have been nominated as team for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Even the structure of the show, without the songs themselves, upholds the notion of women supporting women.

The Arts Theatre is transformed to a pop concert, Tudor Court with harpsichord remixes of modern songs greeting us as we take our seats. Tim Deiling's pre show lights act like a crown framing the stage and set the tone for the epic lighting that is to come. Of course the music and performances are outstanding but they are taken up several notches by Tim's well thought out and supremely effective lighting. Gabriella Slade's costumes are also spectacular. The clever use of stiff and sparkly fabrics mirror the message of femininity alongside power and are just another tick to add for this show.  The sharp wit of the ladies, is matched by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille's choreography which is modern, pop inspired and oh so sharp. If the Arts  Theatre paid it's bills in sass, this choreography alone would do the job.



Whilst Six does follow real life people, not all the facts are historically correct and everything needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and a peep into a history textbook. However, Marlow and Moss have done an outstanding job of scattering facts here and there and allowing their own writing style, alongside influences from famous pop performers to develop the stories. The composers provide catchy tune after catchy tune as each of the queens tell their stories in their distinctly them style. 

The two queens who got off the lightest (aka they were not killed and had pretty great lives post-Henry) bring fiery, energetic performances. Jarneia Richard-Noel as Catherine of Aragon is the definition of sass as she tells Henry there's No Way he can throw her out like a pheasant carcass (not a direct quote but it sounds like a Tudor insult, right?) Anna of Cleves (Alexia McIntosh) shows her success as she regales us with snippets of her life in her resplendent, Richmond Palace. Both ladies perform their upbeat songs with enough energy to power the entire West End and give their absolute all night after night.

Otherwise, Natalie May Paris gives a completely heartfelt performance as "the only one he truly loved", Jane Seymour who died young in childbirth. Her hilariously awkward one liners bring a like-ability to her character, as does her note perfect, chill-inducing rendition of Heart of Stone. 

Natalie's performance beautifully and painfully highlights the exploitation of women by the men in power. Whilst she proclaims her love for Henry, she also realises that Henry only loved her because she was able to provide him with an heir. Although all the women are treated badly by men, it's Aimie Atkinson as Katherine Howard who gives the most strikingly painful display. All You Wanna Do is a slow building piece which portrays the dark way in which Katherine was essentially groomed her entire life. The way Aimie manages to show a complete character arc in this song, is truly skilful.

Millie O'Connell is utterly dazzling as the super cheeky Anne Boleyn who is equally used by men but employs her wit and sex appeal to fight back. Although this led to her head off demise, it allows for a fantastically well characterised performance which is worthy of every ounce of applause it receives. 



This is an undoubtedly feminist show that inspires women to support each other and reminds us all that we're stronger together. Maiya Quansah-Breed's number towards the end I Don't Need You Love is a pinnacle of the show as it is not only performed perfectly, but wraps up the show and its message so well. The queens combined are an absolute force to be reckoned with and upon leaving the theatre, my friend exclaimed "I've never wanted to be a sassy woman more... I've never felt so empowered!" and that is absolutely true. 

Whilst many deep and pretty dark themes course through the roots of this show, writers Marlow and Moss and co-director (with Moss) Jamie Armitage have done a superb job of never making anything too heavy or overwhelming. They maintain a balance which thrills and moves the audience. 

With various international productions and tours already in the works, there's no doubt that Six will continue to receive acclaim and a posse of adoring fans around the world. This is the history lesson you'll love and want to return to over and over again. Perfectly executed (!) and superbly created, Six is the smash hit you need to see... and see again.

Read my original Six review here

photo credit: Idil Sukan

Six, Arts Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Hot Gay Time Machine, Trafalgar Studios | Review



Hot Gay Time Machine
Trafalgar Studios 2
Reviewed on Tuesday 4th November 2018 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Fun, flamboyance and festivity, Hot Gay Time Machine is probably the most fun you'll have at the theatre this year (and next year when it'll no doubt be ruling the West End and the world). Conceived by Zak Ghazi-Torbati, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, this show is a ridiculously humourous look and laugh at life as a hot (privileged) gay. With a pink carpet and sparkles abounding, Trafalgar Studios becomes the time machine as Zak and Toby travel through a series of iconic moments in their lives, accompanied by a catchy, riotous soundtrack.

Zak and Toby have done an outstanding job of creating a show that feels fresh, modern, exciting, wild and amusing but also has moments that are moving and informative.  Alongside innuendos and outright unruly behaviour there are sweet moments about gay-splaining and coming out which are looked at with sincerity and fun.


Asides from the fantastically witty writing, it's the chemistry between the pair which makes this show a surefire success. The duo bounce off one another as if the whole show is impromptu, and there are a number of moments where they ad lib and give one another knowing glances that just add to the already extra humour. Toby deftly plays the piano whilst singing his soul off and Zak provides vocals for days as well as witty one liners and harmonies to give you life. 

In all honesty there's not much  more I can say about this show other than: GO SEE IT. If you want to laugh your face off and have 75 minutes of pure, unadulterated, gay fabulousness alongside absolutely stellar performances, Hot Gay Time Machine is the show you need in your life. Go now or commit a small hate crime.

Hot Gay Time Machine runs at Trafalgar Studios 2 until January 5th 2019

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Hot Gay Time Machine, Trafalgar Studios | Review

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Six, Arts Theatre | Review

 
Six 
Arts Theatre 
Reviewed on Friday 31st August 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★★ (it seems only right)
 
As someone who grew up spending her weekends visiting Hampton Court Palace, Six is  pretty much my ideal musical. Bringing the wives of Henry VIII to us live in concert and changing HIStory to HERstory this show is a celebration of girl power and shows us that there's far more to the rhyme we all grew up hearing.
 
Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Six is fresh, modern and unlike anything I've experienced. The lyrics are fast paced and extremely clever but draw you in so much that at no point do you find yourself struggling to understand them. Each Queen has a distinct style which works fantastically. From the jazzy feel of Catherine Parr's solo to Catherine of Aragon's Beyoncé style song, all the music feels relatable and makes you feel you could be friends with any of the Six ladies.
 
 
Each Queen is inspired by current pop-stars with the cast bringing clear influences from pop culture as well as making the roles truly individual and memorable. As their respective wives (Ex-Wives *mic drop*) Jarneia Richard-Noel, Millie O'Connell, Natalie Paris, Alexia McIntosh, Aimie Atkinson and Maiya Quansah-Breed are outstanding. It's unfair to talk about them individually as they all bring so much to the show and despite having solo's, make this show the united, ensemble piece it's meant to be.
 
The Ladies in Waiting aka the on stage band bring energy and even more power to Six. Emma Bailey's set is simplistic in the tiny space of the Arts Theatre but extremely fitting, with the black box almost becoming a chapel where we can worship these powerful women. Tim Deiling's lighting helps achieve the pop concert vibe and is especially effective in Haus of Holbein where Anna of Cleves' tells her story accompanied by strobe lights and fluorescent neck ruffs.
 
 
Carrie-Anne Ingrouille's choreography is sharp and fills the space extremely well. Alongside Gabriella Slade's fabulous and flirty costumes and Jimmy Jones' chiselled makeup looks, the ladies really do own the Arts Theatre and become the hottest girl group in London.
 
Six is inventive, coherent, uplifting and full to the brim with talent. The varying tempos and genres make the piece continually engaging and the "Britishness" of it all is truly wonderful when so much of the West End is currently/soon to be dominated by imported shows. Henry VIII may have been the Tudor King, but these Queens are the rulers of London theatre.
 
Six runs at the Arts Theatre until  14th October, and then tours around the country
 
photo credit: Idil Sukan

Six, Arts Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 5 September 2018