Eleven years of Hartshorn Hook. That’s my flatmate’s production company. It’s their birthday today. It’s also the press night for Six the Musical at The Arts Theatre. That’s their theatre, but not their production. I lucked into a last minute replacement ticket for the press party, which is excellent as the show is sold out until late September already and I was worried I wouldn’t get to see it. I’m sitting with the team right now, sucked into their post work birthday celebration, looking forward to catching the show. But it’s only ten to seven and someone is talking about tequila. I don’t want to be dancing on the tables surrounded by casting directors. I still harbor fantasies that they will one day start to notice that I’m a legitimate and saleable prospect. I missed Downton. The Crown is still going. There’s plenty of interesting and right headed stuff that fits me, and I’m still here, still optimistic, waiting for the audition, still not dead – miraculously. It just takes that one part to snowball work. We all know it. But you need the meeting to get the job. Someone might wake up before long. Meantime I’ll keep doing the random things and try not to dance on the tables after Wednesday afternoon tequila madness at a press night I’m nothing to do with.

I’m glad to get the chance to see some theatre. The diary is empty this week and I really don’t like that. My usual reaction to a week of no money in is to stop all money out and basically sit at home all day refusing to answer the phone to fun-friends and googling for money work I can do on my own terms without breaking the audition possibilities. Anyway. Showtime for Six the Musical…

It’s fantastic. It’s 6 women playing the six wives of Henry VIII. If you grew up in the UK you would be familiar with them. We all had to slavishly learn about them as kids. Catherine of Aragon, the spanish Catholic who Henry invented the Church of England to dump. Anne Boleyn who could never have expected to be beheaded. Jane Seymour who bore him a son but died in the process. Anne of Cleves who didn’t look like her portrait. Catherine Howard who died for odd political reasons and habit. Catherine Parr, who didn’t want it but lived. Six women on stage, and women – not girls. Women. Telling the patriarchal story from their angle, knowing history would not have remembered them had it not been for their husband. With four musicians visibly backing who are also women. Ten visible performers. And yeah there are joke references and homages to the Spice Girls. But this is what I’ve wanted what I’ve really really wanted. It’s not actually about the gender or ethnicity balance, but yes I am glad of it. Because more it’s about the fact that this is a corking show. They smashed it up in Edinburgh. Now they’re smashing it here in London and YOU TOO CAN GET A TICKET. Which you probably ought to if you like musical theatre.

It’s short, complete, punchy, modern and Tudor. I loved Anne of Cleves. Such a smart take, that she didn’t look like her profile picture. But that’s the show all over. It’s smart and modern and funny and on point.


And now we’re off to the after party at Hospital Club for fun and friends. And NO TEQUILA.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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