Tudor girl-band concert Six set to be first musical to reopen in West End

Hit show about the six wives of Henry VIII aims to boost confidence in live theatre and will also be staged in Salford

It is, perhaps, the perfect musical for a nation under a “rule of six” law. The hit show Six, in which Henry VIII’s wives return from the dead to give a boisterous “histo-remix” pop concert, is set to become the first musical to reopen in the West End since lockdown and will have a simultaneous run in Salford.

Created by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss when they were undergraduates at Cambridge University, Six ran at the Arts theatre in London from September 2018 to March this year, when venues closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. It will now move temporarily to the larger Lyric theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue for a socially distanced 11-week run, beginning on 14 November, with nine shows a week. Another staging of the musical will open at the Lowry in Salford on 27 November and run for six weeks.

In a statement, the show’s producers – Kenny Wax, Wendy and Andy Barnes and George Stiles – said that the tour and West End run would “give work to 100 or so actors, musicians, technicians, stage managers, production managers, costume makers, marketing, press, ticketing and office staff”. They acknowledged that it was unlikely to be economically viable, but they hoped to rebuild audience confidence – with safety measures including contactless tickets and temperature testing – and to entertain theatregoers who have had scarce opportunity to enjoy live musicals, in particular, since March. In July, a tour of Six that had sold out several drive-in venues around England as part of Live Nation Entertainment’s summer season was cancelled due to concerns about local lockdowns.

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