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Theatre / Six: The Musical
aka: Six

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From left to right: Jane Seymour, Katherine Howard, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Parr

"Welcome to the show; to the historemix
Switching up the flow as we add the prefix
Everybody knows that we used to be six wives
Get your hands up! Get this party buzzin'!
You want a queen bee? Well, there's half a dozen
Everybody knows that we used to be six wives…!
… But now we're ex-wives!"
Full Company, "Ex-Wives"

Six: The Musical is a musical written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 as a student production. Six then had its first professional production Off-West End at the Arts Theatre later that year.

The musical is presented as a pop concert featuring the six wives of Henry VIII competing for the role of "leading lady", with each queen recounting their lives leading up to their marriage and inevitable demise in order to decide who had the worst time with Henry and should therefore win. The six queens are, in order:

In 2019, the show opened on the West End at the aforementioned Arts Theatre and made its US debut at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Due to delays by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the musical debuted on Broadway October 3, 2021. The show has had numerous other productions sinceincluding .

This musical contains examples of:

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  • 0% Approval Rating: Anne Boleyn is not very popular in England, not least because she replaced (and, at least in the show, openly slighted) the universally beloved Catherine of Aragon.
    Wow, Anne, way to make the country hate you!
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Catherine Parr considers Henry this; she's already in love with another man and doesn't want to be forced to be with another just because he's the King.
  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: In the song "Six", the queens sing the line, "Too many years lost in history," with emphasis on the second syllable of 'history' rather than the first. This creates the double meaning of the queens being overshadowed by Henry VIII and thus being "lost in his story", and that they're taking back the narrative in the song.
  • Adaptational Consent: We'll never truly know whether Katherine Howard's affair with Thomas Culpeper even actually happened, let alone if it was consensual, but the show (much like Katherine in real life) takes the stance that it wasn't. Katherine Howard also claimed that she consented to marry Francis Dereham but never consummated the marriage, but the musical lists Francis as one of her rapists.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Anne Boleyn was historically an incredibly intelligent woman, though the show makes her a considerably ditzier character. However, the Queens' sarcastic hints about the show being staged, as well as Anne's line about patriarchal structures, throw this into question: Anne might just be playing a ditzy homewrecker, the popular image of her.
  • Adaptational Skimpiness: The queens dress in decidedly more revealing outfits than their real-life counterparts.
  • Adults Are Useless: Every significant adult figure in Katherine Howard's life is either neglectful/oblivious to her situation (like her parents and step-grandmother) or abusive and manipulative (all her love interests).
  • Against My Religion: Even to her deathbed, devout Catholic Catherine of Aragon refuses to acknowledge the validity of her divorce from Henry.
    Catherine of Aragon: You made me your wife, so I'll be queen 'til the end of my life!
  • Age Lift: Henry Mannox was perhaps as old as 36 when he molested Katherine Howard, but he is stated to be 23 here (which may or may not have been true).
  • Age-Progression Song: "All You Wanna Do" covers Katherine Howard's life from ages 13 to 18/19.
  • Air Guitar: During Maggie and Bessie's solos in the "Megasix", the queens mimic them.
  • All for Nothing: After spending most of the show focused on the competition and bickering amongst each other, the queens realise the futility of their conflict and proceed to awkwardly stand around in silence. Subverted when it's revealed that they faked the competition in order to teach a lesson to the audience.
    Catherine Parr: So, basically we're stuck.
    Jane Seymour: ...What a waste of time.
  • Alternate Timeline: In "Six", the queens present a "histo-rewrite" of their lives so that they each leave/refuse Henry (sparing the wives' lives in the process) and get together as a girl group. The one exception is Seymour, who still imagines being with Henry because despite his flaws she did truly love him, as well as how she's there because she loves the idea of raising children.
  • AM/FM Characterization: Heaps. Aragon belts a Beyonce-inspired power ballad to show her strength and courage, Seymour gets a tearful ballad, and nineteen-year-old Howard sings about her struggles to an upbeat bubblegum pop rhythm.
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?: Katherine Howard's realization that none of the men who abused her when she was younger cared about her in the end.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Henry insists that he and Catherine Parr wed, to the latter's dismay.
  • Arc Number: Six, for obvious reasons.
    • In "No Way", the amount of times the queens stutter their N's during every chorus is six.
      The Queens: N-n-n-n-n-n-no way!
    • The word "six" is sang 24 times throughout the show, even outside of songs. The only two times the word "six" isn't sung is when Catherine Parr brings up Henry VI, and when Anne Boleyn mentions her sixth finger.
    • The last two songs in the show are called "Six" and the "Megasix".
  • Arc Words: "We have a connection", for Katherine Howard throughout, "All You Wanna Do".
  • Armor-Piercing Question: At the end of "No Way", Catherine of Aragon asks Henry if, truly, she's been a bad wife in any way; if he has any justifiable reason for not wanting her around anymore.
    Catherine of Aragon: If you can just explain a single thing I've done to cause you pain… I'll go. (Beat) No?
  • Arranged Marriage: Catherine of Aragon was initially betrothed to a man called Prince Arthur. When Arthur soon died, she was then set up with Arthur's brother Henry — and the rest is history.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • In her song "No Way", Catherine of Aragon mentions that Henry found a verse that states that she would be barren for the rest of her life because she married the brother of her dead husband. Catherine refutes this by pointing out the existence of their daughter Mary. What actually happened is the theological experts that Henry consulted told him that no surviving sons would be produced from such a marriage, so the existence of Mary wouldn't have fazed him.
    • The musical follows the popular myth that Anne Boleyn was the one who prompted Henry's idea to get divorced from Catherine. In reality, there were rumors in Henry's court that he wanted a divorce as early as 1520 (Henry met Anne as late as 1527) due to physicians telling him between 1524 and 1525 that Catherine was unlikely to give birth again.
    • "Greensleeves" was not actually written about Anne Boleyn. Evidence even suggests that the piece was actually written years after Henry VIII's death, in the Elizabethan era.
    • PR missteps notwithstanding, politics very much were Anne Boleyn's thing—she was an important figure in English-French relations and religious matters. On the other hand, she might have meant that she just wasn't good at it. Her aforementioned PR missteps included completely alienating her mother's old money family from her faction.
    • Anne also didn't "flirt with a guy or three just to make him jel". What actually happened was that Anne had been charged with treasonable conspiracy to procure the king’s death — a charge supported by details of supposed adultery. On the day of her execution, Anne swore on the sacrament that she was innocent both before consuming it and once again afterward. People in the Tudor period believed that lying before God merited instant damnation, meaning that if she had been guilty, Anne would never have falsely sworn her innocence right before meeting her Maker.
    • In "Six", Anne Boleyn's happy-ever-after has her plagiarising the "Greensleeves" poem that she claims was written about her (as previously noted, it was not), and then becoming Shakespeare's lyricist. Anne would have been 63 when Shakespeare was born, and likely in her 80s before he wrote anything, let alone became famous. Life expectancy simply wasn't that long back then; Anne's own daughter died at 69.
      • Though, this could be a nod to the fact that her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, supported William Shakespeare and his work.
    • "Haus of Holbein" has the line "You bring the corsets, we'll bring the cinches / No one wants a waist over nine inches". During the 16th century, the corset was not actually used to cinch the waist—rather, it was used to mold the torso into a more cylindrical shape and raise the bustline. The extreme tight-lacing to create a tiny waist didn't become fashionable until the 19th century.
      • It also has Henry rejecting Christina of Denmark as a potential wife. In real life, it was the other way around; Henry campaigned for Christina's hand for some time, but she and her relatives were completely averse to her marrying the English king. Understandable, since Christina's great-aunt was Catherine of Aragon.
    • Despite what the musical Anna of Cleves would lead you to believe, the real life Anna of Cleves did not completely remove herself from Henry after they divorced. They maintained a close relationship with each other to the point that she was dubbed "The King's beloved sister". Additionally, she and her brother William of Jülich-Cleves-Berg pressed Henry to remarry her after the execution of Katherine Howard. Henry quickly refused, though.
    • Anne Boleyn did not really have six fingers. That popular myth was perpetuated soon after her death, and popularized by the Victorians.
    • The real Anne of Cleves tall, slim and blonde — not unattractive at all. It's believed that it was actually Anne who was repulsed by Henry's appearance. This greatly humiliated Henry, so he claimed it was Anne who was ugly and that he couldn't sleep with her. He had Thomas Cromwell beheaded for arranging the match and accused Hans Holbein of painting an overly-flattering portrait of Anne. So in reality, Anne being ugly was merely a popular myth.
    • The musical implies that Katharine Howard lost her virginity to the much older Thomas Mannox. In reality, while they certainly had a deeply inappropriate relationship there's no evidence it went beyond sexual touching — perverted and wrong, but not actual sex. Both insisted when interrogated at Katharine's adultery trial that this was the case even when Mannox was put to torture to get the truth. In addition, some historians have questioned if Mannox was actually older than Katherine, as reliable information about his age at the time is hard to come by.
  • Aside Glance: The queens often interact and speak directly to the audience, but during times where they're supposed to be talking to each other it can result in this.
    • When Jane Seymour bounds towards and scolds Catherine of Aragon for daring to use Mary as a way to one-up everyone else, an increasing popular acting choice is for her actress to (subtly or not-so-subtly) punctuate her tirade by vainly posing towards the audience afterwards.
    • The biggest moment of this trope comes near the end of the show, where they lament to each other about how "awesome it would have been" to reclaim their stories by singing about it. Cue all the queens slowly and smugly turning towards the audience.
  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed. While abrasive and conniving, one can agree that Anne Boleyn's execution was uncalled for.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Anne Boleyn shows signs of this, notably missing her cue to begin her solo because she's fooling around on her phone.
    Anne: Wha...? Oh, sorry!
  • Audience Participation:
    • As befitting of the musical's concert vibe, the queens occasionally ask the audience to make some noise.
    • During "Get Down", Anna of Cleves asks an audience member to dance for her. If they refuse, she'll make a scripted joke about Henry VIII's impotence.
    • The queens get the audience to clap along during "Six" and the "Megasix".
    • Six's West End production schedules dedicated "sing-along" shows where the audience is encouraged to sing along with the queens.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour's marriages all hinged on the queens' respective abilities to produce a male heir, lest Henry does something about it. Seymour, the one queen who did produce a male heir, went on to be labelled as "the only one he truly loved". Subverted in the fact that Seymour ended up dying in the ordeal.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Katherine Howard, as she was only 18/19 when she died.
  • Badass Boast:
    • At the end of her verse in "Ex-Wives", Catherine Parr gives one. She declares, "I'm the Survivor, Catherine Parr!"
    • Anne of Cleves' song, "Get Down", is one long badass boast about how she was able to become extremely rich and live in splendour for the rest of her life due to her divorce with Henry VIII.
    • In "No Way", Catherine of Aragon declares that, no matter what Henry does or says, she'll always be the true Queen of England.
  • Bad Girl Song: "Don't Lose Ur Head" for Anne Boleyn, and "All You Wanna Do" for Katherine Howard. In the latter's case, it's deconstructed, as it becomes the story of a young woman who has been treated as a sex object since her childhood, and doesn't know anything else.
  • Beat: The biggest use of this happens before the last chorus of "All You Wanna Do". As Katherine Howard sings "He says we have a connection...", the music stops from a brief moment. Then, it picks up with "I thought this time was different / Why did I think he'd be different?"
  • Bait-and-Switch: Katherine Howard pulls this while talking about Francis Dereham.
    Katherine Howard: He asked me to be his little piece of ass...istance.
  • Band of Relatives:
    • All six queens share a common ancestor: King Edward I of England, at least seven generations ago.
    • In "Six", the happy-ever-after that Jane Seymour comes up with is forming a band with Henry and their children.
  • Berserk Button: Never try to include children when telling a sob story in order to make yourself look miserable in front of Jane Seymour. Catherine of Aragon learns this the hard way when she tries to make her story with Henry "more horrible" by bringing up the time he forbade her to see her daughter, Mary, when she was sick.
    Catherine of Aragon: Ok, alright. Well now live up to this, when my one and only child had a raging fever, Henry didn't even let me—her mother!—see her!
    Jane Seymour: OH, BOO-HOO! Baby Mary had the chickenpox and you weren't there to hold her hand! You know, it's funny because when I wanted to hold my newborn son, I DIED!
  • Better Partner Assertion: A retroactive example where Jane Seymour continues to insist she was Henry's best wife and the only one he loved because she gave him a son. She changes her mind as she and the other queens grow closer.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Not only did the queens all die centuries before modern pop concerts were a thing, but the deaths of Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn, and Katherine Howard are specifically pointed out as their claims to fame and arguments for winning the contest. No attempt is made to explain how they can give pop concerts despite being dead.
    Anne Boleyn: Yeah, what a weekend! I'm, like, dead.
    Katherine Howard: Wait, didn't you actually die?
    Anne Boleyn: Yeah, it was so extra.
  • Betty and Veronica: Catherine of Aragon (initially highly religious, obedient, and loyal) and Jane Seymour (extremely loving and loyal) are both the Betty to Anne Boleyn's Veronica (brash, flirtatious, and self-centered).
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Jane Seymour is initially portrayed as the most innocent and demure of Henry's wives. When Catherine of Aragon tries to spin a sob story about not being able to be in the room when her daughter Mary had a childhood illness, though, she throws a screaming fit about how she wasn't able to be with her son at all due to her dying right after giving birth to him. In earlier versions of the show, she also pulls at Katherine Howard's hair (while screaming) during a group argument.
    • Katherine Howard is more subdued earlier on in the show, but when the other queens tease her for being the least-remembered Katherine of Henry's reign, she gives an excellent "The Reason You Suck" Speech to each queen that stops them all cold.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A double-sided pun during "Haus of Holbein": "Ignore the fear and you'll be fine / We'll turn this vier into a nine." Vier is German for "four", but pronounced like the English word "fear". Meanwhile, "nine" is English is pronounced identically to nein, the German word for "no". Mixing languages together, it could either be taken to mean "We'll turn this four into a nine" or a more grammatically-incorrect "We'll turn this fear into a no."
  • Bilingual Rhyme: In the "Don't Lose Ur Head" number, "bonjour" is rhymed with "chore" and "everyday" is rhymed with "prêt-à-manger". The "Haus of Holbien" number rhymes "are" with "Wunderbar" and puns on fear/vier and nine/nein.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The queens can't change history, or how their stories ultimately ended. Most of them were utterly miserable for most of the time they knew Henry, most of them met tragic ends, and they mostly became only known for who they are because of Henry or the children they had with him. However, they got a chance to tell their stories on their terms, retaking the narrative for a time. The show ends with them presenting a happier alternate world where most of them never married Henry (except for Jane Seymour, who stays with him and goes on to have more children) and wound up happier for it.
  • Black Comedy: And lots of it. Beheading-related jokes abound.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Henry tries to hide his infidelity by claiming that he was just "out with his ministers". Catherine of Aragon does not believe him.
    • One of Henry's given reasons for wanting to divorce Catherine of Aragon is that, since she was married to his brother first, the Bible says she'll never bear him children. Except, as Catherine points out, they have a kid.note 
      • Made especially ironic when one remembers that before Mary's birth, Catherine did present her husband with a living male heir — Henry, Duke of Cornwall. The little boy only lived two months, but he still existed.
    • While the queens are fighting over who gets to win, Anna of Cleves brings up that she has the plague. When the queens express their sympathy, she immediately confesses.
      Anna of Cleves: LOL, just kidding. My life's amazing.
  • The Bluebeard: Henry VIII is this by the technicality that he had been married six times, and three of his marriages ended in death (one from childbirth, two from his actions). The other half survived this fate but still died at later dates, with Catherine Parr and Anne of Cleves dying a year and a decade after him respectively.
  • Blue Is Calm: Catherine Parr's song is by far the most lowkey, and the queen herself is the most level-headed of the group.
  • Bookends: Both the first and last songs ("Ex-Wives" and "Six", respectively) feature these lines:
    Welcome to the show, to the histo-remix
    Switching up the flow as we add the prefix
    Everybody knows that we used to be six wives
    Everybody knows that we used to be six wives
  • Bowdlerize: The Teen Edition of "Six: the Musical" has a couple of censored lines, mainly in place of child-unfriendly references and cursing (or to make related lines rhyme). See the notes for the original wording.
    • "But when he met me, he was like, 'Ew, who is this girl?'"note  / Funny, 'cos when I saw his ugly face it made me wanna hu-note  / Hullo therenote , I'm the Katherine who lost her head..."
    • "For an active social lifenote  outside of wedlock..."
    • "The queen to take the crown should be the one who had to put up with the most troublenote  from the man who put a ring on it."
    • "Her or me, feelnote  / Like I gotta be realnote  / I'm not a third wheelnote , are you blind?"
    • "He thinks I'm cuter, someone execute her."note 
    • "Henry's out, every night on the town, just gettingnote  around, like what the hell?"
    • "Mate, I don't carenote  / You're just being a little—note  / 'Cos you can't produce an heir!note 
    • "I guess you could say things were really coming to a head."note 
    • "Paid for with my own poundsnote  / Where my dogsnote  at, release the houndsnote ."
    • "Every once in a whilenote , I make the boys go wild!"
    • "Broad, dark, Henrynote  Mannox..."
    • "The fetchingnote  secretary to the dowager dutchess..."
    • "He was older than menote , and I was thirteen... going on thirty."
    • "He asked me to be his personal assistantnote .
    • Inexplicably, the lines "He plucked my strings all the way to G / Went from major to minor, C to D" were kept intact, as well as "birds and the bees me".
    • Every line involving miscarriages was cut and replaced with Anne Boleyn exclaiming, "Well, I — lost — my — head!"
  • Boyish Short Hair: Anna of Cleves, the most masculine of the six queens, always has the shortest hair. The first three people to portray the queen in particular wore either pixie cuts and buzz cuts during their time with Six.
  • Brainy Brunette:
    • Anne Boleyn historically, and sometimes in the musical depending on the actress. She was dark-haired and by all accounts brilliant.
    • Catherine Parr, an intelligent author who fought for female education, has been consistently portrayed by actresses with black or brown hair.
  • Break the Cutie: The first part of "All You Wanna Do" is happy and carefree as Katherine Howard enjoys her flings (as the audience squirms in discomfort, given her age). But by the end, she's sick of the way men treat her and kicking herself for not catching on sooner.
    Why did I think he'd be different?!
  • Break Up Song: "I Don't Need Your Love" is this, with the song proper and the remix being addressed to two different people: from Catherine Parr to Thomas Seymour and all of the queens to Henry VIII.
  • Breather Episode: Anna of Cleves' portion of the show, including the upbeat "Haus of Holbein" and "Get Down". They come between the show's two heaviest songs, the deeply emotional "Heart of Stone" and the gradually horrifying "All You Wanna Do", and Anna herself admits she got off the easiest out of all the queens and doesn't deserve to win the competition.
  • Brief Accent Imitation:
    • When the queens are making fun of Catherine Parr, Katherine Howard briefly impersonates her. On some occasions, Katherine Howard's actress will go so far as to mockingly imitate the Catherine Parr's accent.
      Katherine Howard: Ooh, look at me — I'm Catherine Parr, and I draw the line at arbitrary places!
    • In US productions, actresses sing the line "Don't be bitter / 'Cause I'm fitter" with a British accent.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Anne Boleyn may be this. She appears to be a carefree ditz (if spiteful and self-absorbed) throughout the show, but rattles off a scathing criticism of how useless measuring the Queens against each other is and caps it off with "Yeah, I read." In real life, she received a first-rate education compared to Tudor standards for women.
    • Coincidentally, she's consistently depicted with her with hair up in space buns, which vaguely look like bunny ears.

  • Changing Chorus: The four choruses of "All You Wanna Do" are slightly different from each other to reflect her different relationships and evolving situation.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Katherine Howard, when roasting the other queens.
    Katherine Howard: (to Jane Seymour) Dying of natural causes? WHEN WILL JUSTICE BE SERVED?!
  • Child Pop Star: Katherine Howard is styled as one, after her queenspirations Britney Spears and Ariana Grande.
  • Chromosome Casting: All of the characters (including the band) are women. However, the casting call encourages trans women and other members of the trans community who are comfortable with playing women to audition. In the original student cast, Anna of Cleves was portrayed by Oliver Wickham, a transmasculine nonbinary person.
  • Church Lady: Catherine of Aragon, who frequently brings up her religion within the show. The historical figure herself was a prominent figure in the Catholic community.
  • Cleavage Window: Jane Seymour's costume has one.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality:
    • Catherine of Aragon's costume is the shiniest, spikiest, most accessorised, and most elaborate. This, coupled with her colour being gold, indicate that she is The Diva as well as The Paragon.
    • Anne Boleyn sports something akin to pop punk fashion, complete with bracers, a choker, and a whimsically-bouncy skirt. This reflects the comical, brazen characterisation she's given within the show. Her colour, green, references the "Greensleeves" poem allegedly written about her, but it could also allude to her public perception as the "green-eyed" homewrecker.
    • Jane Seymour wears a solid white bodice framed by a trim reminiscent of Tudor architecture, symbolising her purity and firmness. Meanwhile, her skirt and sleeves seem black, but it's actually a black mesh with silvery holographic vinyl underneath — a subtle choice that looks unassuming until a spotlight is shone upon her, revealing a sparkling cascade of rainbow hues. This paints her as a deceptively simple person who ultimately is stronger and more complicated than she seems. She also sports cleavage, which symbolises her openness and motherhood.
    • Anna of Cleves' luxurious tastes, personal independence and radical sensibilities are reflected by an outfit that would be far more likely to be worn by a nobleman than a noblewoman in Tudor times. She wears a fur coat and tomboyish shorts, as well as knee-high boots in later productions. As an attention-grabbing show-woman, she also wears a chain-laden leotard underneath her coat. Her colour, bright red, symbolises her charismatic, energetic personality.
      • Anna of Cleves' previous costume was silver, which is a close-enough colour to gold (already taken by Aragon) to indicate her wealthy status. It also makes her a giant contrast to Jane Seymour due to them having similar colours; while Seymour's flat-white dress is relatively more modest and traditional, Cleves' shiny bikini-esque get-up is more attention-grabbing and exotic.
    • Katherine Howard's transparent open skirt, bodice and low neckline are designed to accentuate her body. Her colour, hot pink, represents a good deal of things about her, including her youthfulness, playfulness, cheerfulness, and sexuality.
    • Catherine Parr's giant sleeves and pants bring to mind women's fashion around the '90s, which trended towards masculine clothing in the wake of the increasingly-popular feminist movement. The "revolutionary" aspect was more noticeable in earlier versions of the show, where she wears a headband across her forehead. She is also the most covered-up of the queens and wears a dark blue, representing her level-headedness and sensibility.
    • The teal, orange and pink alternate costumes were originally designed to closely match the first covers of the actress who first wore them (as opposed to the black and silver alternate costumes, which were designed to suit all six queens).
      • The original teal alternate costume is defined by its boyish shorts and generally boxed-in appearance, assigned to Boleyn and Cleves. Shorts denote a more casual, punkish vibe, which fits with both Cleves and Boleyn's aesthetics.
      • The original orange alternate costume, assigned to Aragon and Parr, sports large shoulder pads and chain-laden trousers. Orange is a similar colour to gold, and it can represent power — something that both Aragon and Parr are associated with.
      • The original pink alternate costume, with its large cap sleeves and open peplumed skirt, was assigned to Aragon and Howard. On stage, the colour of the costume can either look pink or purple — the latter of which suits Aragon due to its connotations to power and royalty.
  • Cool Crown: Each queen has their own specific "crown", or rather, spiked hairband.
    • Catherine of Aragon's crown is usually the biggest. Recent productions have their Aragons wear double-tiered crowns with golden spikes.
    • Anne Boleyn's crowns are tied around her space buns.
    • Jane Seymour sports a simple, modest crown with small spikes. In some productions, the crown is entirely white.
    • Anna of Cleves' crowns are placed on the sides of her head. During a portion of the original UK Tour, she had a single crown in the form of a spiked visor.
    • Katherine Howard's crown holds her ponytail.
    • Catherine Parr's crown is asymmetrically placed on the side of her head.
    • Alternate costumes are a gamble, but generally they use the same type of crown as the principal costume of the queen currently portrayed.
  • Cool Shades: During "Haus of Holbein", the queens (and the band, too), wear shades with glow-in-the-dark rims.
  • Colorblind Casting: The queens were, historically, all white women, but the casting call specifically states that it welcomes "all self-identifying female and non-binary performers", regardless of size, shape, ethnicity, etc.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each costume of the six queens have a predominant signature colour, coupled with black. Their signature color is also sometimes used as lighting.
    • Catherine of Aragon: Gold
    • Anne Boleyn: Green
    • Jane Seymour: White
    • Anne of Cleves: Red
    • Katherine Howard: Pink
    • Catherine Parr: Blue
    • In some (mostly earlier) productions, even alternates and swings have their own signature colors and unique costumes rather than wearing copies of the main cast costumes. So far, there are five alternate costume colours: black, teal, orange, light pink, and silver.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Anne Boleyn assumes that the lesson to be taken from the show is that "Jane can't dance". Whether this is a manifestation of her It's All About Me personality or Obfuscating Stupidity is up to the audience.
  • Commonality Connection: Anne Boleyn immediately begins a rapport with Katherine Howard upon realizing they were cousins who were both executed via decapitation.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: What Henry Mannox and Francis Dereham do to Katherine Howard, who was a naïve (albeit flirtatious) adolescent at the time they slept with her.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: The queens eventually realise that the competition they spent the majority of the show on was pointless, and that they could've sung about other things instead. This is later subverted when the queens reveal that they were faking it the entire time.
  • Country Matters: Anne Boleyn's second song, "Wearing Yellow to a Funeral", starts with "Catherine was a MASSIVE c—". The C-word usually gets cut off or drowned out by the other queens, but sometimes it can be heard loud and clear.
  • Courtly Love: Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII's relationship pre-marriage. Originating in France, "courtly love" was a popular concept that had many fans in England; Anne and Henry were no exception. In courtly love tradition, she played hard to get and refused to have sex with him unless he could prove his commitment to her — in this case, by divorcing Catherine of Aragon.
    Three in the bed and the little one said, "If you wanna be wed, make up your mind!"
  • Creator Cameo: Or more accurately, "Creator Guest Appearance". On 28 July 2019, Six co-writer and composer Toby Marlow stepped in as Catherine Parr when principal actress Maiya Quansah-Breed was on vacation, two understudies had colds, and the third was already playing Jane Seymour that day.
  • Crocodile Tears: Anna of Cleves pulls this while "lamenting" about her life as a rich divorcee.
    Anna of Cleves: Who could overcome a fate as devastating as being forced to live in a resplendent palace in Richmond?
  • Cuckold: A rare gender inversion. When Catherine of Aragon became aware of her husband's affairs, she kept her mouth shut as an act of humility.
  • Cue Card Pause: Katherine Howard does this deliberately as a Stealth Insult:
    Katherine Howard: Your lives sounded terrible! And your songs- (Beat) … REALLY helped to convey that!
  • Cultural Translation: In non-British productions, some lines are altered to reduce English slang (mostly the word "mate". See the notes for original wording.
    • "Waitnote , what was I meant to do?"
    • "Bronote , just shut up!"
    • "Remember us from PBSnote ?"
      • This line has the most variance in other different productions. In cruise productions and in South Korea, the line becomes "Remember us from The History Channel?". In Australia, the line changes to reflect local equivalents of the GCSEs such as "your HSC" in Sydney, "your AST" in Canberra, "your SACE" in Adelaide, "VCE" in Melbourne and "your ATAR" in Brisbane.
    • "Just friendsnote , no chemistry!"
    • "I mean, look at me, I'm really hotnote ."
    • "His temper's short and his friendsnote  are sleazy."
    • In the Australian production, "How are you doing tonight?" becomes "How are you going tonight?".
    • In American productions, Aragon says "I hit that high C". In productions outside of the US, the line is "I hit that top C".
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • Anna of Cleves, courtesy of Katherine Howard, in "Ex-Wives":
      Anna of Cleves: But I didn't look as good as I did in my pic. Funny how we all discuss that, but never Henry's little
      Katherine Howard: Prick up your ears, I'm the Katherine who lost her head!
    • After "Don't Lose Ur Head", Anne Boleyn wants to sing another song. She manages to get out, "Catherine was a MASSIVE—" before being drowned out by the other queens' sounds of protest. If the queens aren't loud enough, the final word can be audible.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: Anne "Yeah, I'm that sexy" Boleyn and Katherine "ten amongst these threes" Howard have the most revealing outfits of the six queens.
  • Dating Service Disaster: How the musical frames Anna of Cleves and Henry VIII's relationship. By modern analogy, Henry VIII used Hans Holbein's services and "swiped right" on Anna of Cleves, but was unsatisfied with her looks and claimed that she didn't look like her "profile picture". Henry divorced her very quickly and had to pay her off in the process — in the end, Anna pretty much got the better end of the deal.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of the Queens (with the possible exception of Parr) are this to an extent, but Katherine Howard is especially snarky. Particularly apparent in her roast of the other Queens before "All You Wanna Do":
    Katherine Howard: And Jane—dying of natural causes. WHEN WILL JUSTICE BE SERVED?!
  • Dead to Begin With: The queens are all long-dead historical figures, but are now somehow here in the 21st century to give a pop concert. Catherine of Aragon very briefly implies that they're in some sort of purgatory, but other than that it's ambiguous.
    Catherine of Aragon: How in the purgatory are we gonna choose our leading lady?
  • A Deadly Affair: Anne Boleyn's and Katherine Howard's extramarital trysts ended with their beheadings.
  • Death Song: "Don't Lose Ur Head", "Heart of Stone", and "All You Wanna Do" all build up to the deaths of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Katherine Howard, respectively. Katherine's death in "All You Wanna Do" is depicted in the most explicit manner, but all three songs end in darkness with only a single spotlight highlighting the soloist queen.
  • "Dear John" Letter: "I Don't Need Your Love" begins with a woeful letter from Catherine Parr to her lover, explaining her persistent love for him and her lack of a choice in marrying Henry.
  • Death by Childbirth: Jane Seymour's eventual fate. Though not covered in the musical, historically, Catherine Parr would die this way as well.
  • Deconstruction: "All You Wanna Do" does this to Katherine Howard's typical portrayal as a promiscuous seducer of older men, by pointing out the fact that Katherine was a child when these adult men had these sexual relationships with her. Katherine initially reminisces on her sexual history with some fondness, but as the song progresses she grows increasingly uncomfortable and her trauma is fully realised by the end of it.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Katherine (supposedly) doesn't see anything wrong with the fact that she was thirteen to Henry Manox's twenty-three, and a sixteenth-century audience likely wouldn't have either; it gets a 21st-century audience squirming in discomfort.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Katherine Howard just wants someone to love her, genuinely love her, and not just use her for sex. She doesn't even need it to be romantic love; when she befriends Thomas, she's happy to have a confidant and friend who seems to genuinely care about her well-being. When she realizes he doesn't, she's devastated.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Anne Boleyn tends to run into a lot of trouble head-first without really anticipating any backlash.
      Wait, what was I meant to do?
    • When the queens all realise that there isn't any point to the competition anymore, they begin loitering on stage and leave the show awkwardly silent for a good few seconds. Of course, this is just all an act.
  • Diegetic Musical: Six's backing band, the ladies-in-waiting, are acknowledged by the queens at different points in the show. Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Parr in particular both ask their respective ladies (Maria and Joan) by name to add background music to their monologues.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: To say Henry overreacted to the (alleged) adultery of his second and fifth wives is a vast understatement. This is why much of history remembers him as The Bluebeard.
  • The Diva: Catherine of Aragon is styled as one due, after one of her queenspirations Beyoncé.
  • Doom Magnet: Henry VIII is an offstage example. Becoming his wife is a recipe for misfortune. The only queen to avoid this fate was Anna of Cleves, who accepted the annulment and got out of dodge the second she could.
  • Double Entendre:
    • After freaking out about Henry being serious about chopping her head off, Anne gives a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
      "I guess he must have... uh... really liked my head."
    • Katherine Howard does this on two accounts:
      • First regarding her (ahem) relationship with her music teacher, Henry Mannox:
        We spent hours strumming the lute,
        Striking the chords and blowing the flute,
        He plucked my strings all the way to "G",
        From major to minor, C to D
      • After that, when discussing her affair with Francis Dereham:
        Helped him in his office, had a duty to fulfill
        He even let me use his favorite quill
        Spilled ink all over the parchment,
        My wrist was so tired…
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Don't lose ur head" can represent Anne Boleyn taunting Catherine to not become agitated from her presence, or the fact that Anne's inevitable fate was to literally lose her head to an executioner.
  • Dude Magnet: Anne Boleyn, Anna of Cleves, and Katherine Howard claim this about themselves. Deconstructed in Katherine's case, however, as it turns out all the men Katherine seemed to attract only wanted her in the lecherous way... while she was still a teenage girl.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Catherine of Aragon's bodice and skirt used to have a different pattern.
    • The buns in Anne Boleyn's hair were originally green.
    • Jane Seymour's costume did not have a peplum or a white crown.
    • Anna of Cleves had a completely different, silver costume than what she has now.
    • Katherine Howard's hair wasn't dyed, her bodice had no pattern, and her skirt used to be less structured.
    • Catherine Parr's signature crown used to be a spiked headband. Her costume also didn't have a peplum.
    • The original Cambridge and Arts Theatre productions had props for each song, a horn section, and very different costumes. The ladies-in-waiting also did not exist; instead, they had a regular band.
    • Currently, the queens announce each lady-in-waiting and hype them up for their solos in the "Megasix". In an early iteration of the show, the queens are completely absent on stage when the band performs their solos — and when they enter, they perform choreography that is not in the current version of the show. You can watch it here.
    • Catherine Parr's solo fake-out used to be less elaborate. Instead of an entire musical sequence that could believably lead into an actual song, the band used to play a sparse, understated beat.
    • In an earlier version of the West End production, the queens' argument actually turns physical, prompting Catherine Parr and even Anna of Cleves to step in and cut it out.
    • Nowadays, the queens' hairstyles are mostly standardised (Aragon gets large curls, Boleyn gets space buns, Seymour gets a half-up half-down hairstyle or similar, Cleves gets a mohawk, Howard gets a high ponytail, and Parr gets side curls), but in earlier productions this wasn't as much enforced. From this, we got gems such as mohawk Boleyn and short-haired Seymour.
  • Elemental Motifs: In the chorus of "Heart of Stone", Jane Seymour mentions the four classical elements. Fire, wind and water reflect Henry's tumultuous emotional state, while earth (the titular heart of stone) reflects Jane standing by him and trying to be a steadying influence during their marriage.
    When the fire's burned
    When the wind has blown
    When the water's dried
    You'll still find stone
    My heart of stone
  • English Rose:
    • Defied by Anna of Cleves in "Get Down". She cares not for etiquette, loves to party, and wears a boyish ensemble of a coat, shorts and a mohawk.
      Anna of Cleves: Let me explain... I'm a wienerschnitzel, not an English flower.
    • On the other hand, Jane Seymour pretty much is this trope... until she starts screaming at Aragon, that is.
  • Ensemble Cast: There are only six people on stage (not counting the band), and they're all main characters. The group quality of Six's cast is emphasised so much that the original West End cast was collectively nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2019 Olivier Awards. The Broadway cast was also collectively nominated, this time for Best Ensemble at the 2022 Drama Desk Awards.
  • Ephebophile: Henry Mannox, Francis Dereham, and Henry VIII all had sexual relationships with Katherine Howard while she was a teenager. Thankfully, the show condemns their behaviour while portraying Katherine Howard as a very sympathetic victim.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: After being taking advantage of by three men in a row, Katherine Howard earnestly believed that her dear friend (and cousin) Thomas Culpeper was different. As it turns out, it's never, ever different.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Zig-Zagged. Jane Seymour, Katherine Howard, and Anna of Cleves appear shocked (or even horrified) when Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn start competing over who had the most miscarriages, but they also make fun of Catherine Parr for being the person to actually speak up against it and "drawing lines in arbitrary places".
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Being sparkly is definitely one of the show's defining features. The queens' costumes feature shiny sequins, crystals, and holographic vinyl.
  • Extreme Doormat: Catherine of Aragon was this at first, humbly putting up with her first short-lived marriage, seven-year imprisonment, and husband's infidelity... but then said husband announced his intent to divorce.
  • Fan Disservice: "All You Wanna Do" has Katherine Howard parade flirtatiously around the stage and sing lyrics detailing her sexual history, but it quickly becomes unsexy once she sings about the 23-year-old Henry Mannox having sex with her when she was thirteen. The longer the song goes on, the more Katherine herself becomes uncomfortable with her sexual persona. By the end of the song, Katherine is shouting, crying, and recoiling from hands invasively touching her body.
  • Fashion Hurts: "Haus of Holbein" details some of the ways Tudor-era women enhanced their beauty, including wearing extremely tight corsets and impractically-tall high heels.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Anne Boleyn's impulsiveness and strong opinions. Her hot temper and willingness to insult those that upset her, including Henry, ultimately get her beheaded.
    • Katherine Howard's naïveté. Men continually use her for sex, and she keeps telling herself, this one is different, this one cares about her. Like Anne, this leads to her beheading.
  • Female Empowerment Song: The "I Don't Need Your Love" remix, and "Six".
  • Fille Fatale: Deconstructed and played for tragedy with Katherine Howard. For all her promiscuity and flirtatiousness, at the end of the day she's a teenage girl who adult men use as a sex object. By the time she marries Henry, all she really wants is a friend, and she's heartbroken when she realizes Thomas Culpeper is only nice to her because he's trying to sleep with her.
  • Finger Wag: Occasionally employed by the queens throughout the choreography of "No Way".
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: During the opening lines of "All You Wanna Do", Katherine Howard boasts that "Ever since I was a child/I made the boys go wild!". It's assumed that she's exaggerating, or at least means boys her age, but not one line later she brings up her music teacher Henry Mannox, who was twenty-three to Katherine's thirteen.
  • Foreshadowing: During the queens' introduction, Parr says, "The winning contestant was the most protest-tant! (Beat) Protestant." She would be the first to protest against the entire competition. However, it's revealed that the queens faked the competition in the first place, as a form of protest against the public version of their story and the patriarchal tendency to pit women against each other. That means, in a way, all of them were protestant contestants, and "all [became] the leading lady".
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: The basic sentiment behind "No Way". Catherine of Aragon, backed by the support of the Vatican and a majority of England, stubbornly refused the notion of a divorce (which, of course, happened anyway).
    Catherine of Aragon: No, I won't back down, won't shhh, and no, I'll never leave!
  • Four Is Death
    • Katherine Howard's fourth sexual partner, Thomas Culpeper, is part of the reason why she is beheaded, as she explains in her number "All You Wanna Do".
    • Very much averted by the famously-fourth Anna of Cleves, who outlived literally all the other queens and objectively led the best life.
  • Fourth Wall Greeting: The chorus of "Ex-Wives" has the Queens welcoming the audience to the show and their version of history.
    Welcome to the show, to the historemix
    Switching up the flow as we add the prefix
    Everybody knows that we used to be six wives
  • French Jerk: Anne Boleyn, who grew up in France, is amusingly the snippiest queen. A scene is not complete without Boleyn hurling at least one insult or jab towards Henry and her fellow queens.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Not even the other queens seem particularly fond of Anne Boleyn.
  • Friendship-Straining Competition: Over the course of the show, the competition devolves into screaming, arguments, and outright insults. Eventually, Catherine Parr helps the rest of the group realise how wrongly they'd been acting. This becomes subverted when the queens reveal that they were never having a real competition in the first place.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Watch Katherine Howard's face just before she cuts off Anne of Cleves in "Ex-Wives".
    • Catherine of Aragon's face as "Don't Lose Ur Head" progresses—which partially features the process of Aragon being replaced by Anne Boleyn.
    • Anne Boleyn preening in a "that's me" fashion during the dialogue part of her introduction (before "Don't Lose Ur Head") then pretending she doesn't care by playing with her phone.
    • During an interviewnote , Andrea Macasaet has stated that in the Broadway production, "If you're paying real close attention, you see us trying to make each other laugh." invoked
  • From Beyond the Fourth Wall:
    • Near the end of the show, Catherine Parr is bothered by the spotlight and politely asks the operator to turn it off. Later on, she asks for it to be put on back again.
    • During the Megasix playoff, Catherine Parr takes a phone from a filming audience member and parades it around the stage before giving it back. After COVID-19, however, this doesn't happen anymore.

  • Gem-Encrusted: All of the queens wear crystal-studded LaDuca boots.
  • The Ghost: Henry VIII, while frequently mentioned, never appears in person.
  • Ghostwriter: In Anne Boleyn's happy-ever-after in "Six", she ends up writing lyrics for Shakespeare.
  • Girl Group: The entire concept of Six: the Musical. In-universe, each of the queens embarked on different music careers before being discovered and banded together by Catherine Parr.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: The Catherine Parr and silver alternate costumes.
  • Glam Rap: "Get Down". It's a hip-hop song (inspired by Nicki Minaj, no less) in which Anna of Cleves raps about her wealth, her expansive estate, and all the luxury goods she can afford (like dresses with gold lace trim, carriages, fur coats, gold chains, and fast horses).
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Catherine of Aragon, who still proudly holds onto her title as Queen of England even after Henry annulled their marriage.
  • Gold Digger: Snarkily referenced by Anne of Cleves. She insinuates that even if she didn't marry Henry for the money (especially since she didn't get a vote), she's not going to pretend that it isn't an advantage.
    Now, I ain't saying I'm a gold digger... but check my prenup, and go figure.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Henry's multiple instances of adultery are treated as sleazy, since it's his ex-wives telling the story. Anne Boleyn insists she only flirted with a few guys to make Henry jealous, as revenge for him sleeping around. Katherine Howard getting caught with Thomas Culpepper is treated as sexual abuse on Thomas's part, colouring Katherine as the victim of both men rather than the adulterer.
  • Good Bad Girl: Heavily played with. Katherine Howard historically had this kind of reputation, but the show makes it explicit that it's because she's been sexually abused by older men since she was a teenager. Overall, she's treated as a sympathetic figure and a decent human being.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Despite Anne Boleyn's impending execution, she spends the last chorus of "Don't Lose Ur Head" gleeful and defiant.
  • Graceful Loser: The other queens are quick to point out that Anna of Cleves's entire would-be argument that she had the worst time with Henry consisted of bragging about her independent, single life. She quickly concedes and shrugs it off with a cheerful (and still slyly boastful) "Oh, well. Back to the palace!"
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Anne Boleyn grew up in the French court, so she sprinkles a few French lines in her song "Don't Lose Ur Head". Catherine of Aragon, shipped over from Spain, slips in some Spanish words into her speeches before and after her solo. The show also uses a lot of Gratuitous German between three songs; during Anna of Cleves' verse in "Ex-Wives", all throughout "Haus of Holbein", and a few lines in Anna of Cleves' solo "Get Down".
  • Green and Mean: Downplayed with Anne Boleyn. She's no villain, sure, but she does consistently litter dialogue with derisive quips and insults.
  • Gut Punch: After a relatively light-hearted first half of the show, Katherine Howard suddenly gets a 7-minute solo detailing her short and incredibly traumatic life, with the sexual abuse she was faced with since age 13 played completely straight.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Jane Seymour, depicted in the show as a loving wife and mother, is usually portrayed by a blonde actress. Enforced by various six productions (second UK Tour, Australia, Bliss 3.0 & 4.0) whose Jane Seymour actresses wear blonde wigs instead of their natural hair colours.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Henry, both historically and in the musical. He was rash, hot-tempered, and was quick to order the execution of his wives when they wronged him.
    With Henry, it's never easy
    His temper's short and his mates are sleazy
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The queens eventually devolve into shouting matches and flaunting their big personalities for the audience to see. Catherine Parr is the only queen not to participate in this.
  • Happily Married: Averted. None of Henry's wives seemed particularly content with their marriages except for Jane Seymour (who despite having the most positive relationship towards Henry still expresses mixed feelings and eventually rejects his love), and Anna of Cleves (who wasn't married to him long enough to feel more than stung when he rejected her to begin with, especially considering the divorce turned out great for her).
  • Hates Being Touched: Before every chorus in "All You Wanna Do", Katherine Howard's shoulders and arms are caressed by the queens. Initially, she doesn't seem to mind, but as the song goes on, she gets increasingly uncomfortable. This all comes to a head during the last chorus, where she's violently recoiling from every hand laid upon her.
  • The Hedonist:
    • Anne Boleyn, by her admission, is just out to have a good time and doesn't particularly care about who she hurts.
      Sorry, not sorry 'bout what I said
      I'm just trying to have some fun!
      Don't worry, don't worry, don't lose your head
      I didn't mean to hurt anyone
    • After her divorce, Anne of Cleves follows suit. "Get Down" is entirely her boasting about her decadent, independent lifestyle.
  • Heir Club for Men: Henry VIII's reason for divorcing Catherine of Aragon and executing Anne Boleyn. Although a female monarch was possible in England back then, at that point there technically has never been one before (the last time a woman tried to take the throne, it didn't end well) and the culture at the time was heavily biased towards men.
  • Hidden Depths: Katherine Howard, surprisingly, seems to know who Henry V's wife was.
  • Historical Domain Character: All the queens. Even the backing band counts, since they're named for the queens' real ladies-in-waiting.
  • Historical Relationship Overhaul: Catherine of Aragon was Catherine Parr's godmother. This is never mentioned in the musical.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Katherine Howard, the poor girl. She simply cannot spot a bad guy to save her life — literally. Justified, since she's a teenager and, for all her sexual 'experience', rather naïve and sheltered from the real world.
  • Hot-Blooded: Anne Boleyn is very short-tempered, which ultimately proves to be her undoing.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The opening song… wait, no, actually, the entire show. If you played a drinking game where you took a shot every time there was a pun, you'd be wasted by the end.
  • Iconic Item: Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard are never (alternate costumes and costume mistakes notwithstanding) seen without their initialised necklace chokers.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: The titular song "Six" has each of the queens come into their own as people and pursue new dreams outside of being defined by their relationships to the King.
  • "I Am Great!" Song: Anna of Cleves' song, "Get Down", consists of Anna boasting about how great her life is after getting divorced from Henry VIII, as a wealthy palace owner and an honoured member of his court.
  • Implied Rape: Katherine Howard sings about what is undoubtedly sexual abuse in "All You Wanna Do", but the word "rape" nor its usual euphemisms aren't used in the show.
  • Improv: During the choruses of "Haus of Holbein" and the majority of the "Megasix", the queens are free to pull whatever dance moves they want provided they adhere to the blocking.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: The other queens get offended when Seymour calls herself the only wife Henry VIII loved.
    Jane Seymour: Jane Seymour, the only one he truly loved.
    Others: …Rude!
  • Instant Costume Change: In "Get Down", the queens take off Anna of Cleves' coat and shorts to reveal a blinged-out leotard, which usually causes the audience to cheer for a solid few seconds (and in some cases an entire minute). She puts her over-layer back on during "All You Wanna Do", though.
    • This may be Averted due to a number of reasons; A) The actress is wearing the old version of the Cleves costume that has an open coat, tank top and non-tearaway shorts, B) The actress is wearing an alternate costume with no coat, or C) The actress has the closed coat but not the leotard underneath.
    • If the actress is wearing the open coat version of the Cleves costume, the queens may take it off (in a lot of cases they don't for unknown reasons), but it wouldn't qualify for this trope since only the top is taken off and the tank top underneath was already exposed.
  • Intercourse with You: The chorus of "All You Wanna Do" has "Please me, squeeze me, birds and the bees me".
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Catherine of Aragon's big song is called "No Way", which is her response to Henry trying to divorce her. And what's the first line of the final number?
      He got down on one knee, but I said, "No way!"
    • "Don't Lose Ur Head" has two. The first, and more obvious, is that Anne's taunting of her critics, telling them not to "lose their heads" (don't lose your temper / don't panic) gives way to the realisation that she is going to be decapitated. The second is her refrain of "What was I meant to do?": for the majority of the song, she uses it to abdicate all responsibility for the damage she did and the poor choices she made, claiming that there was no other course of action. Once Henry is out for her blood, however, "what was I meant to do?!!" becomes a terrified cry as she desperately looks for a way to escape Henry's wrath.
    • Katherine of Howard assesses each of her lovers with the refrain of "I think this one is different", showing her naiveté. At the end of the song, once Culpeper rapes her and she realizes she's spent her entire life being used for sex, she twists it.
      I thought this time was different... why did I think he'd be different? But it's never, ever different!
  • Ironic Last Words: The last words that Anne Boleyn utters at the end of her solo where she gets symbolically beheaded: "Don't lose your head".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Anne Boleyn is portrayed as the most flawed of the queens. She's self-centered, reckless, and sometimes very rude — but she's not a bad person.
  • Just Friends: Katherine Howard insists (with relief) that she and Thomas Culpeper are "just mates, no chemistry", and is delighted to have a best friend… but then she finds out he's attracted to her.
  • Lady in a Power Suit: Catherine Parr, historically an advocate of women's rights, wears a costume reminiscent of a power suit. This also applies to any queen that happens to be portrayed by someone wearing an alternate costume with trousers.
  • Lady in Red: Subverted with Anne of Cleves, who is historically seen as the ugly one.
  • Lady-In-Waiting: the queens are backed by a four-woman band, who are named after the queens' historical ladies-in-waiting:
    • Maggie the guitarist (named after Margaret Lee, who attended Anne Boleyn)
    • Bessie the bassist (named after Elizabeth Blount, who attended Anna of Cleves)
    • Joan the keyboardist and conductor (named after Jane "Joan" Meutas, who attended Jane Seymour)
    • Maria the drummer (named after María de Salinas, who attended Catherine of Aragon)
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Judging from her awkward laugh afterward, even Jane realizes her "Royalling Stones" joke is pretty bad.
  • Large and in Charge: When describing Henry, Katherine Howard notes both his weight and status.
    Tall, large Henry the Eighth... Supreme Head of the Church of England.
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: Jane Seymour is the only person who laughs at the "really, really old school" joke she makes at the beginning of the show.
  • The Leader: Invoked by the queens, who spend most of the show's runtime who gets to be the "leading lady". At the end, this is firmly defied.
  • Light Is Good: Jane Seymour is Color-Coded for Your Convenience, using white to represent her emotional and feminine personality.
  • Lipstick Mark: One of Catherine of Aragon's clues to her husband's infidelity was spotting "lipstick on his ruff".
  • List Song: "Ex-Wives" describes an old rhyme listing the fate of the six wives of Henry VIII, which leads up to the premise of the song—to define the six titular ex-wives outside of ol' Henry.
    Divorced. Beheaded. Died. Divorced. Beheaded. Survived.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: Happens during "Don't Lose Ur Head". During this sequence, Anne strolls down the stage holding her microphone like a bouquet, while the queens humorously portray hysterical wedding guests in the background.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Anne accuses Henry of this in "Don't Lose Ur Head", leading to her execution.
  • Locked Away in a Monastery: As in history, Henry wanted to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and send her to a nunnery. In the finale, Catherine describes an alternate history where she rejects Henry's proposal, and willingly moves into the nunnery instead.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Discussed by more than one of the Ex-Wives. While Henry VIII usually blames whichever wife he has at the time for not producing a male heir, Henry is cited the one who was bad in bed, along with being a chronic adulterer. Boleyn in particular calls him out on it, leading to her infamous beheading in "Don't Lose Your Head".
    "You damned witch"
    Mate, just shut up
    I wouldn't be such a b-
    If you could get it up!
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "All You Wanna Do" is a catchy bubblegum pop song detailing Katherine Howard's life as an sexually-abused youth, leading up to her traumatic death. While downplayed in most live versions where Katherine Howard's actress gets emotional in the final verse, this is played completely straight in the original cast recording as Katherine retains the same upbeat vocals and poppy affect throughout the whole song.

  • Makeover Fairy: The "Haus of Holbein" troupe acts as this, prettying up Anna of Cleves for her Holbein portrait. They did such a good job, in fact, that Henry allegedly became disappointed with the queen's actual looks.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Many actresses who portray Jane Seymour choose to be the last queen to get up and join Catherine Parr when she sings about refusing Henry's love in "I Don't Need Your Love".
  • Minimalist Cast: The six queens and four ladies-in-waiting (the latter of which are just band members written into the show) are the only characters featured on stage, with only passing mentions to other historical figures.
  • Misery Poker: The entire show predicates itself on this concept: a competition over which wife of Henry VIII had it the worst. The prize? The lead singing position of the band. Ultimately, they decide it doesn't matter and stop letting their stories be defined by Henry — but not before Katherine Howard makes an admittedly really good winning case for herself.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • "Heart of Stone", a tearjerker power ballad, is smooshed in between the darkly hilarious "Don't Lose Ur Head" and the over-the-top "Haus of Holbein". This can lead to an… odd listening experience, at least until you're used to it.
    • After the catchy and boastful "Get Down", and a very comedic scene in which Katherine Howard roasts all of the other queens, Howard's song "All You Wanna Do" starts as a happy bop and then proceeds to chart a young girl's life full of sexual exploitation. Starting from age 13 and ending with her execution for what is implied to be at minimum a dubiously consensual relationship and at maximum rape, she's sobbing as the song ends. Then, when the audience finishes clapping, Katherine Howard resumes her cheery persona and enthusiastically tells everyone that she gets beheaded afterwards.
  • Morality Pet: Downplayed. Jane is stated to be the only wife that Henry cared about, and her song indicates that he's affectionate to her and their son. However, as Jane herself realizes, Henry mostly loved Jane because she gave him an heir. If Edward was "an Edwina", he probably wouldn't have loved her anymore.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Katherine Howard frequently draws attention to her own attractiveness, and her outfit is by far the most provocative out of all the queens. All of this is downplayed in "All You Wanna Do", where she sings about her experiences with sexual abuse and enters an emotional breakdown in the last chorus.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: After Anne Boleyn finishes her "I Am" Song "Don't Lose Ur Head", she tries to immediately follow up with another song, "Wearing Yellow to a Funeral" about the death of her romantic rival for Henry; Catherine of Aragon. She almost calls Aragon a certain C-word before getting cut off by the other characters.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Katherine Howard was seventeen when Henry started pursuing her, and she was neither well-educated nor rich. A lot of the controversy she caused as Queen was due to acting like the lower-class teenager she was.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: A weird, meta example. Catherine Parr was likely named after Catherine of Aragon, which clashes with the musical's timeline (in which they're all the same age).
  • Never a Self-Made Woman:
    • Snarkily lampshaded by Katherine Howard, who assumes that she's won the competition after singing her solo.
      Howard: All I wanna do is take this opportunity to thank all the powerful men who got me where I am today! Couldn't have done it without you!
    • Discussed by the queens. Well, eventually discussed, with Catherine Parr's prodding. By the end of this conversation, the queens decide to defy this and rewrite historical events so that they live their lives independently from Henry and start a girl group.
      Catherine Parr: The only reason these people have come here tonight is because once upon a time...
      Catherine of Aragon: The same guy fell in love with us.
      Katherine of Howard: [...] We compare ourselves. And when we're the Six Wives of Henry VIII... we each become just that.
      Catherine of Aragon: One of his wives.
  • Never My Fault: Anne Boleyn's troubles aren't all her fault, but she absolves herself for some of her more questionable decisions.
    What was I meant to do?
  • Nice Guy: Thomas Culpeper... at first. Katherine Howard calls him this word-for-word, but eventually he forces himself upon her.
  • No Fourth Wall: The queens are giving a concert, thus they are very aware of the audience and address them directly multiple times.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Enforced by Moss and Marlow, who want actresses to use their natural accents instead of the queens' native accents. The only exception is during "Haus of Holbein", which is done in the style of German house pop and has all the queens put on German accents.
    • Subverted with American cast members in UK productions and vice versa, who use their native accents for solo lines but slip into that production's local accent for ensemble lines in order to blend in with the rest of the cast's harmonies.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: During the choruses of "All You Wanna Do", the other queens put their hands on Katherine Howard to represent the molestation she endured throughout her life. In the final chorus, she tries to move away but they keep their hands in place until the song ends.
  • Odango Hair: Anne Boleyn wears the very similar space buns, which highlights her punkish and/or childish personality.
  • Of Corset Hurts: Mentioned in "Haus of Holbein" — Anna of Cleves briefly sings in a strained voice as the queens tie her corset.
    The Queens: You bring the corsets, we bring the cinches. No one wants a waist over—
    Anna of Cleves: (wince) Nine inches...
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Katherine Howard wears a corset that highlights her bust and figure.
    You can't wait a second more / To get my corset on the floor
  • Offing the Mouth: Henry VIII's reaction to Anne mocking him for his sexual incompetence.
  • Off with Her Head!: As the famous rhyme goes, two queens get their heads chopped off: Anne Boleyn (who name-drops the trope in her song "Don't Lose Ur Head") and Katherine Howard.
  • Oh, Crap!: After Anne Boleyn insults Henry to his face with "I wouldn't be such a b— if you could get it up!", the other wives exclaim "uh-oh!". It's common for Anne's actress to change her body language from cocky to scared afterwards.
    And now he's going round like, "Off with her head!"
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure he
    means it...
  • One-Steve Limit: Zig-zagged. Several characters go by alternate spellings or names to set them apart from similarly-named characters: Catherine Howard becomes Katherine Howard, Anne of Cleves becomes Anna of Cleves (Word of God also says that it's to align the name with its German pronunciation) and Jane Meutas (the lady-in-waiting on the keys) becomes Joan. On the flipside, there are still two Catherines (Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Parr), two Henrys (Henry VIII and Henry Mannox), and three Thomases (Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Culpeper, and Thomas Seymour).
  • Only Sane Man: Catherine Parr, who is the first one to realize that the competition is stupid and that her story shouldn't be centered around Henry. It's subverted when the Queens sarcastically hint that the competition was fake all along.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Anne Boleyn sings "Don't Lose Ur Head" with a light-hearted tone, so when the music halts and she exclaims "he's actually going to chop my head off!" in a genuinely distressed voice, we know it's serious.
  • Our Acts Are Different: Six: the Musical has only one act with no intermission, contributing to the show's concert feel.
  • Our Love Is Different: Katherine Howard attempts to justify her "relationships" with older men as this, because they tell her it's different, they care about her, and "[they] have a connection". In reality (both in-universe and historically), she was sexually abused by those men. By the end of the song, Howard realizes this and her cheery, promiscuous act slips.
    He just cares so much, he's devoted
    He says we have a connection
    I thought this time was different
    Why did I think he'd be different?
    But it's never, ever different
    'Cause all you wanna do
    All you wanna do, baby
    Is touch me, when will enough be enough?
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn both suffered miscarriages, which they both bring up during the show in order to one-up each other.
  • The Paragon: Catherine of Aragon refers to herself as "paragon of royalty", and positions herself as a bastion of morality and faith. Subverted in that she stoops down to the same bickering as the other queens.
    My name is Catherine of Aragon / Was married 24 years, I'm a paragon of royalty
  • Pink Is Erotic: Katherine Howard's signature color is pink, and her main schtick, at least until she has her mid-song realization, is her perceived flirtatious nature and her sexual relationships with men up until her death. However, it's one of the saddest backstories, which is rare for the trope.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Among the queens' outfits, Catherine of Aragon's dress is the heaviest, shiniest, and most intricate, which indicates her status as The Paragon.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: In "Six", Anne Boleyn plagiarises the "Greensleeves" poem Henry wrote about her, turning it into a song that earns her widespread recognition and nabs her a job as Shakespeare's ghostwriter.
  • Prayer Pose: The queens briefly form a group prayer pose during No Way. Catherine of Aragon also takes this pose while pleading to Henry.
  • Present-Day Past: Invoked, as the queens are telling their story to a modern audience through the lens of modern pop music and allusions to modern pop culture. Most prominently is the depiction of Henry VIII finding Anna of Cleves' portrait, which is framed like he's swiping through a dating app. His disappointment in how she looks in real life is spun as her not looking as "good as [she] did in [her] pic".
  • Proper Lady: Jane Seymour, who is nurturing and feminine. Contrast with Anne Boleyn, who is more of a Spirited Young Lady.
  • Proud Beauty: Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard make comments boasting themselves as such in "Ex-Wives" and "All You Wanna Do", respectively.
    Anne Boleyn: (in "Ex-Wives") I'm that Boleyn girl, and I'm up next. See, I broke England from the Church. Yeah, I'm that sexy!
    Katherine Howard: (during a break between songs) Seriously, Anna, all jokes aside, being rejected for your looks legit sounds really rough. I wouldn't know anything about that.
    Katherine Howard: (in "All You Wanna Do") I think we can all agree: I'm the ten amongst these threes.
  • The Quiet One: Catherine Parr is the least talkative of the six queens, only really getting lines near the end of the show when everyone decides to push her into the spotlight.
  • Race Lift: Due to Colorblind Casting, the historically-white queens and ladies-in-waiting have the potential to be played by any race or ethnicity.
    • The original student cast had an Asian Catherine Parr.
    • The original West End cast had a black Catherine of Aragon, Anna of Cleves, and Catherine Parr.
    • The original Broadway cast had a black Catherine of Aragon, Anna of Cleves, and Catherine Parr, as well as an Asian Anne Boleyn.
    • The original Australian cast had a black Catherine of Aragon and a South Asian Catherine Parr.
    • The show is allowed to avert this, however, which can be seen in the Polish production and one of the Australian productions having an all-white cast.
  • Rape as Backstory: It's revealed in "All You Wanna Do" that Katherine has been sexually abused her entire life (her first lover as her music teacher when she was thirteen years old), and it led to her eventual beheading.
  • Recurring Riff: The tune of "Greensleeves" is the first piece of music played in the show leading up to the opening number. This motif occurs a few more times throughout the score, particularly in "Ex-Wives" and the beginning of "Megasix".
  • Regal Ruff: Worn by the ladies-in-waiting. In "Haus of Holbein", the queens themselves don ruffs that glow in the dark.
  • Rejected Marriage Proposal: In "Six", Catherine of Aragon's happy-ever-after involves her turning down her marriage with Henry VIII and voluntarily moving into a nunnery instead.
  • Remarried to the Mistress: Anne Boleyn is the obvious example, but this also applies to Jane Seymour since historically, Henry VIII had been showing signs of affection towards Jane during his marriage to Anne.
  • Reprise Medley: The "Megasix" features a reprise of each of the queen's solos, and is able to be filmed — given that you're not in the US.
  • Revenge Romance: Anne Boleyn flirts with "a guy or three" in order to get back at Henry for being unfaithful.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder:
    Jane Seymour: What could be worse than a broken heart?
    Anne Boleyn: A severed head.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: The bubbly, charming Katherine Howard has a pink ponytail.
  • Royal Bastard: In "No Way", Catherine of Aragon angrily mentions Henry having "one son with someone who don't own a wedding ring".
  • Running Gag: Jane Seymour has a penchant for lame jokes that no one else seems to find funny.

  • Sarcastic Clapping: In some productions, the queens do this in order to mock Catherine Parr when she refuses to sing.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Henry broke off from the Catholic Church for the express purpose of annulling his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in the hopes of procuring a male heir with Anne Boleyn. Despite many, many objections, Henry became the boss of his own denomination, the Church of England.
    Tried to elope, but the Pope said, "Nope", our only hope was (He-nuh-ry)
    He got a promotion, caused a commotion, set in motion (the C of E)
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Catherine Parr initially refuses to sing her solo due to her moral objections regarding the competition. Due to not following the rules of the contest, her fellow queens begin mocking her. Subverted when she relents with "I Don't Need Your Love", though she uses the ending portion of the song to make a point about how wrong the competition is.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!:
    • Anne of Cleves' reaction to Henry's offer to divorce her, which wound her up with a large sum of wealth that allowed her to live independently for the rest of her life.
    • Catherine Parr has this mentality when the competition to become the group's lead singer goes too far.
      But why should that story be the one I have to sing about? Just to win? I'm out!
  • Serial Escalation: Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn's argument suddenly turns very ugly.
    Aragon: I've had not one, not two, but THREE, historically-confirmed mistresses!
    Boleyn: (fake sobbing) Ohh, mistresses, poor y—GET OVER IT! I've had not one, not two, but THREE... miscarriages!
    The Queens: (gasp)
    Aragon: Well, I've had... FIVE miscarriages!
  • Serial Spouse: Henry VIII is a historically famous example; Six brings the spotlight on his six ex-wives specifically.
  • Sexiness Score:
    • In "Haus of Holbein", where the queens sing about getting makeovers, they sing, "We'll turn this vier (German for "four") into a nine!"
    • At the start of "All You Wanna Do", Katherine Howard boasts about being the most attractive queen by saying she's "a ten among these threes".
  • Sexual Euphemism: Both Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard make these during their solos.
  • Sexy Secretary: Katherine Howard says this word-for-word about Francis Dereham. Averted in that he's an ephebophile, which isn't exactly the stuff of erotica.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Showstopper:
    • "Heart of Stone", the show's power ballad, is usually this.
    • During the West End cast change on 14 November 2021, every single solo was greeted with at least a minute of applause and cheering.
  • Signed with a Kiss: Anne Boleyn signs a message to Henry VIII with "XO, Baby!", scandalising the other queens.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: "Heart of Stone" is all about this trope, with Jane singing that no matter what comes her way, no matter what Henry puts her through, she can take it, and is still going to be standing in the end.
  • Sisterhood Eliminates Creep: The six queens eventually kick Henry VIII out of the narrative, singing the ending song "Six" as an act of both defiance and solidarity.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: In "All You Wanna Do", Katherine Howard recounts getting into a relationship with secretary Francis Dereham, whom she also served as an assistant to.
  • Slut-Shaming: Averted. History tends to do this to Katherine Howard (for being sexually abused since she was thirteen) and Anne Boleyn (for "tempting" Henry away from Catherine of Aragon), but the show itself depicts this as part of their tragic backstories.
  • Small Start, Big Finish: "Heart of Stone" and "I Don't Need Your Love" both begin softly, but end with riff-heavy spectacles.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Katherine Howard was barely an adolescent when she engaged with her first two lovers (thirteen with Mannox, and around fourteen or fifteen with Dereham), and seems to have been genuinely infatuated with them at the time. Unfortunately, they take advantage of this and start a sexual relationship long before she's ready.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Katherine Howard was blessed with good looks, and she's aware of this, claiming to be "a ten among these threes". However, her beauty attracts the attention of a whole host of unwanted admirers. In "All You Wanna Do" she initially boasts about the attention she receives, but with each new beau she brings up she grows more unenthused and harrowed.
  • Socialite: After Anna of Cleves moves into Richmond Palace and receives a hefty sum from her divorce, she assumes the role of one.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Ah, Anne Boleyn… She was extremely well-educated and boasts of having grown up in the French court, but also has such gems as "Everybody chill, it's totes God's will".
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Anne Boleyn's song, "Wearing Yellow to a Funeral", which she wrote after finding out about Catherine of Aragon's death.
  • Stepford Smiler: In Catherine of Aragon's monologue, she recounts her early life, with every traumatic event punctuated with an increasingly-strained "Okay!" until she's saying it with a downright ghoulish smile. And then she's faced with a request for annulment...
    Catherine of Aragon: And I'm like... No. Way.
  • Stock Rhymes:
    • "I'll think about it maybe / X-O baby"
    • "The mystery / The one who changed history, the mistress"
    • "You got me down on my knees / Please tell me what you think I've done wrong"
  • Sympathetic Adulterer:
    • Anne Bolelyn admits she flirted with some men (and perhaps went further) when Henry began sleeping around, "just to make him jel". She's still portrayed sympathetically, mostly because Henry responded by killing her.
    • Katherine Howard—justified because what happened with Culpeper was unambiguously rape in the musical. Historically, whether or not their encounter even happened is unknown.
  • Sugary Malice: With a seemingly gentle tone of voice, Anne Boleyn talks Katherine Howard down in a surprisingly mean-spirited way after "All You Wanna Do".
    Anne Boleyn: Babes, I don't want things to be weird between us just because my beheading was the result of years of actual trauma and humiliation.
  • Take That!: Katherine Howard snarkily throws some shade at certain modern-day "business practices".
    Katherine Howard: Turns out, some guys employ women to get them into their private chambers... it was a different time back then.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Katherine Howard's relationship with Henry Mannox, her music teacher, although he can be interpreted as a younger (by today's lifespans) Dirty Old Man, given that she was 13. This doesn't stop Katherine from pulling a double entendre.
    He was twenty-three and I was thirteen going on thirty.
  • Team Shot: This happens during Catherine Parr's verse in "Six", wherein the rest of the queens pose around her in order to emulate an album cover.
  • The Body Parts That Must Not Be Named: Anna of Cleves and Anne Boleyn both almost refer to genitalia but are cut off by one of the other queens.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Even though historically, the rest of the queens were also some amount of religious, Catherine of Aragon is the only one who is characterised by it in the show itself — to the point where Katherine Howard has to tell her to tone it down.
  • Toilet Humor: "Haus of Holbein" in the second verse.
    For blonder hair, you just add a
    Magical ingredient from your bladder.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The musical version of Anne Boleyn decided that flirting with other men solely to provoke her husband, then insulting him afterwards was the smart course of action. This ends in her beheading.
  • Totally Radical:
    • Anne Boleyn's song, "Don't Lose UR Head", is full of modern internet phrases, such as "sorry not sorry", "LOL", "XO baby".
    • In the Teen Edition of the script, Jane Seymour's line "Are you for real?" is spelled "R U 4 real?"
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Anne Boleyn's string of impulsive decisions and comments led her to become the most hated woman in England... and then, executed.
  • Triumphant Reprise:
    • "Megasix" has a brief, jubilant reprise of each queen's song, but ends on a particularly poignant one for "Ex-Wives".
      The Wives: We don't need your love! We're so much more than…
      Catherine of Aragon: Divorced!
      Anne Boleyn: Beheaded!
      Jane Seymour: Died!
      Anna of Cleves: Divorced!
      Katherine Howard: Beheaded!
      Catherine Parr: Survived!
      The Wives: We're SIX!
    • The finale, "Six", also has a variant of the "Ex-Wives" reprise:
      It's the end of the show, of the histo-remix
      We switched up the flow, and we changed the prefix
      Everybody knows that we used to be six wives
      But we wanna say before we drop the curtain
      Nothing is for sure, nothing is for certain
      All that we know is that we used to be six wives…!
  • Troubled Teen: Katherine Howard suffered much sexual manipulation throughout her life, and didn't even live long enough to hit the age of twenty before being executed.
  • True Companions: "Six", the closing number, imagines a world where the women (except Jane Seymour) never married Henry, and instead met and became friends… as well as a girl group!
  • The Unapologetic: Anne Boleyn, and proudly so. She insists she means no harm, but also refuses to genuinely apologise for anything — even if it gets herself killed.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • You might think Catherine of Aragon's loyalty ultimately lies with Henry, but really it's with God and the Catholic Church. She believed herself to be the one true Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII, all the way to the bitter end.
    • Jane Seymour's solo, "Heart of Stone", is hinged on this concept. No matter the trouble, Jane insists that her love will persist.
  • Unwanted Spouse:
    • Henry VIII is very upfront about his dislike of Anna of Cleves during their short-lived marriage. This ends in a divorce, leaving Anna with a hefty settlement and her own palace.
    • In contrast to Henry VIII's previous marriage, Katherine Howard is the party not very enthusiastic about the arrangement. Because of this, she starts hanging out with other members of his court and is entangled with Thomas Culpeper, leading to her death.
    • Despite already having a lover, Catherine Parr reluctantly marries Henry VIII in reverence to his will. Her break-up letter to her lost love Thomas becomes the subject of her solo I Don't Need Your Love. She didn't have much say in the matter due to him being the literal King of England.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "I Don't Need Your Love" and its reprisal in "Megasix" call out how none of the women need Henry VIII in their lives, though "Ex-Wives" and "Six" also qualify.
  • Untranslated Title: Six the Musical is still called Six the Musical (transliterated to "식스더뮤지컬") in South Korea.
  • Visual Innuendo: After Anne Boleyn tells everyone that Henry "must've really liked her head" during "Don't Lose Ur Head", she positions her microphone near her mouth in a... suggestive fashion. The exact gesture varies between actresses, though.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Invoked. Catherine Parr notes at one point that she, unlike Henry, managed to make it through several marriages without beheading anyone. She awards herself a gold star for it.
  • Wham Line: This spoken line of Catherine's during the "I Don't Need Your Love" segment reveals that the queens may have had a different motive regarding the competition.
    "Yeah, 'cause then if we had realized we could've done something else... like maybe a fake competition to show everyone how messed up comparing us is."
  • Win-Win Ending: The Queens realize this competition was stupid and decide to all become the "leading lady". Then, they offhandedly reveal that they faked the competition the whole time, complete with an Aside Glance towards the audience.
  • World of Snark: All the queens snark at one another, given that they're all understandably bitter about their humiliating undoings and watered-down historical reputations and taking it out on one another.
  • Worth It: At the end of "Don't Lose Ur Head", Anne Boleyn is still as defiant as ever, even after it becomes clear she'll be killed.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Anne Boleyn says as much about herself, during "Don't Lose Ur Head":
    Anne: Mate, just shut up! I wouldn't be such a bitch if you could get it up.

    Chillin' With The Tudors 
A short Mockumentary about the six queens living in a flat together, starring the original Student cast. You can watch it here.
  • Aside Glance: All the queens glance at the camera at some point, mostly to lampshade puns they make.
  • Cool Crown: The queens each wear a silver tiara.
  • Double Take: Catherine of Aragon's reaction to Katherine Howard when she replies to her expression of relief at not having to sleep with her husband with "Yeah, same".
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Anna of Cleves accidentally walks in on Anne Boleyn sitting on the toilet.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Anna of Cleves calls the sliced cheese in the fridge "Tudor cheese", Catherine of Aragon assumes that she's mispronouncing "cheddar cheese" and sternly corrects her.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: It's implied that the queens were recently brought to present day.
    Katherine Howard: That's the best thing about it. Anachronism.
    Catherine of Aragon: Yeah. There's plenty of time to catch up on Netflix.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: None of the queens seem to like Jane Seymour, much less her lame puns. Come film night, the five queens are huddled around the laptop while poor Jane is awkwardly standing in the corner a metre away.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The queens (not just Jane Seymour) make some pretty awful puns.
  • In-Series Nickname: Anne Boleyn calls Catherine Parr "Miss Parrfait".
  • Loose Canon: It's not exactly how canon the mockumentary is to the actual musical, but it's presumably at least canon to the original student production.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Downplayed. Apparently, Catherine Parr (who is more reserved and intellectual) frequently argues with Anna of Cleves (who is rowdier) due to the latter's inability to do the dishes.
  • Training from Hell: Anne Boleyn runs daily morning workouts for her fellow queens, where she shouts in their faces with a megaphone. The queens describe her as "intense".
  • Trauma Button: While preparing food in the kitchen, Anna of Cleves and Catherine of Aragon discuss how to cut the head off a piece of broccoli, which accidentally upsets Katherine Howard. Aragon quickly realises this, and apologises.
  • Waxing Lyrical: While showing off the Six flat, Anna of Cleves makes a reference to "Get Low" by Lil Jon and The Easy Side Boyz.
    Anna of Cleves: Tudor windows... Tudor walls...
  • Woman Scorned: Anne Boleyn isn't quite over Henry VIII, as evidenced by what she shouts at the queens during the group's morning workouts.
    Anne Boleyn: Alright, you wenches, I wanna see you sweat like you've just been accused of incest with your brother! Knees up, ladies! Let me see you kick your ex in his guilty, guilty balls!

It's the end of the show, of the histo-remix
We switched up the flow, and we changed the prefix
All that we know is that we used to be six wives


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Six


Ex-Wives (Tall Tale Studios)

"Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

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