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!"
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:
- 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!
- 11th-Hour Ranger:
- In notable shows such as show openings, show closings and cast changes, alternates and swings (sometimes in costume, sometimes not) make their appearances on stage during the "Megasix", and may even sing alongside the queens.
- Broadway dance captain and swing Mallory Maedke got a special on-air callout at the 2022 Tony Awards for stepping in as Jane Seymour just 12 hours before the live performance of "Ex-Wives/Six".
- 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.
- 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 was 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 her divorce from Henry as valid.Catherine of Aragon: You made me your wife, so I'll been queen 'til the end of my life!
- Age Lift: Henry Mannox was actually 36 when he molested Katherine Howard, but he is stated to be 23 here.
- 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 tend to mimic them by doing this.
- 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 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 instead get together as a girl group.
- 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 Heel Realization about the men who abused her when she was younger, realising that none of them 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".
- In "No Way", the amount of times the queens stutter their N's during every chorus is six.
- 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: At the age of three, Catherine of Aragon was betrothed to heir apparent to the English throne Prince Arthur. When Arthur died five months after their marriage, she was then set up with Arthur's younger brother Henry and the rest is history.
- Artistic License History:
- In her song "No Way", Catherine mentions that Henry found a verse that states that she should be barren for the rest of her life because she married the brother of her dead husband, with Catherine pointing out that Mary exists. In reality, Henry consulted with theological experts who told him that Henry "childless" actually meant that no surviving sons would be produced from such a marriage.
- The musical follows the popular myth that Anne Boleyn was the one who prompted Henry's idea to get divorced from Catherine, but in reality, there were rumors in court of Henry wanting a divorce as early as 1520 (Henry met Anne in as late as 1527) due to physicians telling him between 1524 to 1525 that Catherine was unlikely to give birth again.
- "Greensleeves" was not actually about Anne Boleyn. And, PR missteps notwithstanding, politics very much were her thingshe 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. One of those PR missteps was 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 kings 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 fantasy of her life if she'd rejected Henry not only has her writing "Greensleeves" (as previously noted, despite the urban legend, it wasn't written about her and is in fact Elizabethan in origin) but 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 expectancies simply weren't that long back then; Anne's own daughter Elizabeth I 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.
- Anna of Cleves wasn't completely done with 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.
- Aside Glance: The conceit of the show is that it's a concert, so the queens often speak directly to the audience. The standout moment of this is when they lament on how awesome it would have been if they'd only realized how reductive it is to compare themselves, then all cheekily look to 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:
- 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:
- Near the end of "Ex-Wives", Catherine Parr gives one as she declares, "I'm the Survivor, Catherine Parr!" at the end of her verse.
- Anne of Cleves' song, "Get Down", is one long badass boast about how she was able to get rich and live in splendour for the rest of her life due to her divorce with Henry VIII.
- At the end of "No Way", Catherine of Aragon declares that, no matter what Henry does or says, she'll always be the true Queen of England. And, indeed, for the rest of Catherine's life, pretty much everyone in Europe agreed with her.
- 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: While talking about Thomas Culpeper, Katherine sings "He says we have a connection..." Then the music stops for a moment before picking 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.
- The happy-ever-after Jane Seymour comes up with is forming a band with her children... and also possibly Henry.
- Bare Your Midriff: Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard exemplify this. Anna of Cleves and Catherine Parr can also have bare midriffs, though it depends on the version and fitting of the costume. Even Catherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour can fit into this trope if they happen to be portrayed by someone wearing an alternate◊ costume◊ that has◊ one◊.
- 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 talking about 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 meher 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 it is specifically pointed out that not only did Jane die after her son was born, but that Anne Boleyn's and Katherine Howard's claim to fame (and argument for winning the contest) is that Henry had them both beheaded, and Anne mentions writing a song about Catherine of Aragon's death. 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 naive, 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 tackles Katherine Howard (while screaming) during the 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 (spelling variants aside) of Henry's reign, she gives an excellent "The Reason You Suck" Speech to each queen that stops them all cold.
- Bilingual Bonus: An excellent 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, but pronounced like "nein", the German word for "no". The words together make sense in both languages, but with different meanings.
- Bittersweet Ending: The women can't change history, or how their stories ultimately ended. Most of them were utterly miserable for most of the time they knew Henry and most met tragic ends, and most people in the years to come only know 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, and 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. After 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 littlenote / '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, with Anne Boleyn instead 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 exemplar of this trope is Genesis Lynea◊ the second person to portray the queen, and a lesbian who wore pretty short hair during her time in 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?!
- Brief Accent Imitation:
- When the queens are making fun of Catherine Parr, Katherine Howard briefly impersonates her. On rare occasions, Katherine Howard's actress will go so far as to mockingly imitate the accent of Catherine Parr's actress.Katherine Howard: Ooh, look at me I'm Catherine Parr, and I draw the line at arbitrary places!
- In US productions, some actresses sing the line "Don't be bitter / 'Cause I'm fitter" with a British accent.
- When the queens are making fun of Catherine Parr, Katherine Howard briefly impersonates her. On rare occasions, Katherine Howard's actress will go so far as to mockingly imitate the accent of Catherine Parr's actress.
- 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.
- 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, almost all of her actresses have depicted her with hair up in space buns, which vaguely look like bunny ears.
- Chained by Fashion: Catherine of Aragon wears a gold necklace made of various chains, and has similarly gold chains hung around her thighs. Anna of Cleves' shorts have a few, and when her outfit is torn off, we get to see her wearing a leotard loaded with them. Additionally, Jane Seymour wears a singular period chain laid across her chest.
- Changing Chorus: The four choruses of "All You Wanna Do" are slightly different from each other.
- 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 due to her queenspirations being Britney Spears and Ariana Grande.
- Chromosome Casting: All of the characters (including the Ladies-In-Waiting 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 technically 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◊ is the only queen whose signature colour isn't incorporated as holographic vinyl on her costume. Instead, her bodice is a solid white, framed by a trim pattern reminiscent of Tudor architecture. The portion of her costume that is holographic vinyl are her black skirt and sleeves, which is a much subtler choice that looks unassuming until you see her up close onstage with the spotlight on her — giving the black 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 showwoman, she 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◊ wears giant sleeves and pants and, which brings 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 is even more accentuated 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.
- While the black and silver alternate costumes were originally designed to suit all six queens, the teal, orange and pink alternate costumes were originally designed to closely match two specific queens; the first covers of the swing who originally wore them.
- The original teal alternate costume◊ is defined by its boyish shorts and generally boxed-in appearance, assigned to Boleyn/Cleves alternate Vicki Manser. While the shorts are obviously the same as the usual Cleves outfit, they also fit Anne Boleyn's punk vibe. Boleyn's association with shorts has deepened since 2021, with black-costumed swings being made◊ to wear them◊ for Boleyn◊ even if they have a skirt.
- The original orange alternate costume◊ is very similar to Parr's, with sizeable shoulders and pants with chains dangling off of them. Orange is quite close to gold, and it can also represent power something that both Aragon and Parr are associated with.
- The original pink alternate costume◊, with its large cap sleeves and open skirt accompanied by a peplum, was assigned to Aragon/Howard alternate Zara MacIntosh.note 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 usual costume of the queen it is currently used to portray.
- 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 thin white women, but the casting call specifically states that it welcomes "all self-identifying female and non-binary performers, as long as they are comfortable playing female roles", 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 thinks that what people will take away 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 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 in England back then and had many fans; 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. It was a pragmatic decision on both sides; Henry wanted a male heir, and Anne wanted the clout of a queen.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. Catherine of Aragon knew all about her husband's affairs, but never said a word due to her 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: Some lines were altered for the American production to reduce English slang, mostly the word "mate". See the notes for the 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, 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, and "VCE" in Melbourne.
- "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?".
- 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.
- Anna of Cleves, courtesy of Katherine Howard, in "Ex-Wives":
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Party girl Anna of Cleves is more often than not portrayed by dark-skinned actresses with red hair (or at least, red hair pieces/wigs).
- 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 Jane Seymour) 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. In reality, Anne never even had any affairs and Katherine was the victim of sexual abuse not that Henry cared in either case.
- 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 Catherine Parr sadly writing to her lover (and eventual fourth husband), explaining that while she will always love him, and really, really doesn't want to marry Henry, she's got no choice in the matter.
- Death by Childbirth: Jane Seymour. 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 men in their twenties or older had sexual relationships with her. While the song starts with Katherine gleefully reminiscing her sexual history, as the song goes on she slowly reveals the trauma and low self-worth she has from the sexual abuse she has suffered all her life and seems to realize that those men were using her.
- 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, 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?
- After the queens all realise that there isn't any point to the competition anymore, none of them know what to do, leaving the show awkwardly silent for a good few seconds. Of course, this is just all an act.
- Anne Boleyn tends to run into a lot of trouble head-first without really anticipating any backlash.
- Diegetic Musical: Six's backing band, the ladies-in-waiting, are frequently acknowledged by the queens throughout 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 to one of her queenspirations being Beyoncé.
- Doom Magnet: Henry VIII is an offstage one. Becoming his wife is a recipe for misfortune. The only one to avoid this was Anne of Cleves, who accepted the annulment and got out of Dodge the second she could.
- Double Entendre:
- After freaking out about Henry being serious of 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
- First regarding her (ahem) relationship with her music teacher, Henry Mannox:
- After freaking out about Henry being serious of chopping her head off, Anne gives a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
- 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 costume◊ (that was silver instead of red) 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 a dance 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 a whole musical sequence (complete with cowbell) that could believably lead into an actual song, the band instead used to play a sparse beat.
- In an earlier version of the show, the queens' argument actually turns physical, which prompts 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◊.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ensemble Cast: The group quality of Six's cast is emphasised so much that the original West End and Broadway casts were collectively nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the 2019 Olivier Awards and Best Ensemble in the 2022 Drama Desk Awards, respectively.
- 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.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: The queens' costumes feature shiny sequins, crystals, and holographic vinyl.
- Extreme Doormat: Catherine of Aragon was this at first, having to put 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 — the other queens put their hands all over her to signify all the men that wanted her, but at the end of the song, Katherine pushes them away and starts crying.
- 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 alongside her 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 actually being nice to her because he's trying to sleep with her.
- 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: This is 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".
- 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, hurling numerous insults and jabs towards Henry and her fellow queens over the course of the show.
- 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".
- 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 La Duca 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 put 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 held onto her title as Queen of England even after Henry annulled his marriage with her.
- Gold Digger: Snarkily referenced by Anne of Cleves, who 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 it's not 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, and Katherine Howard getting caught with Thomas Culpepper is treated as one-sided attraction and sexual abuse on Thomas's part, coloring Katherine as the victim of both men rather than the adulterer.
- Good Bad Girl: Heavily played with. Katherine Howard is promiscuous and historically has had a reputation of being so, but it's explicit in the show that it's because she's been sexually abused by older men around her since she was a young teenager, and this ends up being the cause of her death. 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 of being married to Henry consisted of bragging about how great her independent, single life was as his honorary "sister". 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 near the beginning of her song "Don't Lose Ur Head". Catherine of Aragon, shipped over from Spain, slips in some Spanish words into her speech before and after her solo. The show 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. Doesn't stop history from painting her as one as opposed to Catherine of Aragon, who she most definitely has a rivalry with in the show.
- Gut Punch: After not being particularly vocal for most of the show, Katherine Howard suddenly gets a 7-minute solo detailing her short and incredibly traumatic life, with her sexual abuse by men in her life since the time she was 13 played completely straight. In a show filled with dark comedy for most of the more terrible things, her slow breakdown throughout the song is incredibly hard to watch.
- 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 plot essentially devolves into this before the group forces Catherine Parr to sing her solo.
- Happily Married: Averted. None of Henry's wives seemed particularly content with their marriage, except for maybe Jane Seymour (who only realises he wasn't good for her in the musical), and Anna of Cleves (who wasn't married to him for long enough to feel more than stung when he rejected her to begin with, especially considering ironically 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 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 the divorce, Anne of Cleves follows suit. "Get Down" is entirely her boasting about her decadent, independent lifestyle.
- Anne Boleyn, by her admission, is just out to have a good time and doesn't care about who she hurts.
- 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 biased heavily 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.
- 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 seen without their initialised necklace chokers. Well... almost never seen without them.
- "I Am Becoming" Song: The titular song "Six" has each of Henry VIII's ex-wives have come into their own as a person and pursued new dreams outside of being defined by the King.
- "I Am Great!" Song: Anna of Cleves' song, "Get Down", consists of Anna boasting about how great her life was after getting divorced from Henry VIII and getting rich while staying an honored member of his court from the divorce settlement.
- Implied Rape: Katherine Howard's experiences with sexual abuse are very clearly laid out on stage, but the word "rape" nor its usual euphemisms are never 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 do it within that number's 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.
- Instant Costume Change: In "Get Down", the queens take off Anna of Cleves' coat and shorts to reveal blinged-out lingerie, 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 can 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 lingerie 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!
- 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?
- 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 and 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 as 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 act as 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. Her response was basically, "Over my dead body." In the finale, Catherine describes an alternate history where she rejected Henry's proposal, willingly went to the nunnery instead, and eventually met the others.
- Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Discussed by more than one of the Ex-Wives that, while the show's version of Henry VIII usually blamed whichever wife he had at the time for not producing a male heir, Henry was 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".
- 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 was 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 are the only characters featured on stage, with only a few passing mentions to other historical figures.
- Misery Poker: The entire show is this, since the wives are arguing over who had it the worst while they were married to Henry, and the winner gets to be the lead singer. They ultimately decide it doesn't matter, and they've got to stop letting their stories be defined by Henry — but before that, Katherine Howard makes an admittedly really good case that she's the winner.
- 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 for thinking that they'll win the contest, 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 being executed for what is implied to be at minimum a dubiously consensual relationship and at maximum rape. And she's crying 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 Henry cared about, and her song indicates that he's affectionate to her and their son. But, as Jane herself realizes, Henry loves Jane because she gave him an heir, and if Edward were to die, he wouldn't love 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 starts off "Catherine was a massive" 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 uncomfortably 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: I just wanna thank all the powerful men who got me to where I am today! Couldn't have done it without you!
- Discussed by the queens... well, eventually, 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.
- Snarkily lampshaded by Katherine Howard, who assumes that she's won the competition after singing her solo.
- 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, and are thus very aware of the audience and address them directly multiple times.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Enforced by Moss and Marlow, who wanted actresses to use their natural accents for productions in other parts of the world 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 affect German accents.
- Subverted with American cast members in UK productions and vice versanote , 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.
- 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 nonexistent 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.note
- 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 bitch 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...
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The matchmaking sequence after "Haus of Holbein", wherein the actresses attempt to quickly deliver lines in hammy German accents, is highly susceptible to this.
- One-Steve Limit: Averted, as in history. Three Katherines (or Catherines, whichever), and two Annes, though here in the musical Anne of Cleves goes by "Anna" (Word of God says it's to align the name with its German pronunciation).
- Incidentally, there's also Henry VIII and Henry Mannox.
- There are also three guys named Thomas that get mentioned: Thomas Cromwell (mentioned by Howard), Thomas Culpeper (also mentioned by Howard), and Thomas Seymour (mentioned by Parr).
- Only Sane Man: Catherine Parr, for being the one to realize that the competition is stupid and that her story shouldn't be about Henry. It's subverted when the Queens sarcastically hint that the competition was faked 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 professes, "I think 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 all 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, starting when she was thirteen and culminating in her beheading at 20-21. The audience is very often cringing as she describes sexual acts with men in a carefree manner to the upbeat "All You Wanna Do". In-universe, the queens acknowledge that she "had it bad" and her song had four verses because "that's how much sh*t [sic] [she] had to deal with". By the end of the song, Howard realizes this and her sanity/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".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.
- 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 Tinder, and his disappointment in how she looks in real life is referred to him not liking how she looked in her "profile picture".
- Proper Lady: Jane Seymour, who is nurturing and feminine. Contrast with Anne Boleyn, who was more of a Spirited Young Lady.
- Proud Beauty: Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard make comments showing 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: (in "Ex-Wives") Seriously, 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.
- Purple Is Powerful: Due to its closeness to the colour purple, one of the two queens the pink alternate costume is most commonly associated with is paragon of royalty Catherine of Aragon. Zara MacIntosh, an alternate who wore said costume, Enforced this trope by making an effort to apply more purple-shaded makeup when portraying Aragon as opposed to her other roles.
- 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 shut up and push her into the spotlight.
- Race Lift:
- In the original West End cast, Catherine of Aragon and Anna of Cleves are Black. Catherine Parr is mixed race (Black and Latine).
- Their races were virtually the same in the original Broadway cast, with the addition of Anne Boleyn being Asian and Katherine Howard being Latine.
- In the original Australian production, Catherine of Aragon is Black and Catherine Parr is South Asian.
- 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.
- Rapid-Fire "No!": Catherine of Aragon employs the use of many 'no's throughout her solo "No Way".N-n-n-n-n-n-no way, there's no way!
- Recurring Riff: The tune of "Greensleeves" is the first music played in the show before the opening number, as the Boleyn often references the legend that Henry VIII wrote the song for her. The music occurs a few more times throughout the score, particularly in "Ex-Wives" and the beginning of "Megasix".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The energetic Anna of Cleves is colour-coded red, while introspective Catherine Parr is colour-coded blue.
- 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:
- Catherine of Aragon's religiousness is constantly Played for Laughs.
- Anne Boleyn brings up her beheading frequently.
- 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.
- Sassy Black Woman: Catherine of Aragon, Anna of Cleves, and Catherine Parr have been frequently casted as such.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Henry broke off from the Catholic Church purely 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!
- Secret Other Family: Catherine of Aragon briefly mentions Henry having "one son with someone who don't own a wedding ring". It's not mentioned within the show, but that someone is Bessie Blount — yes, the same Bessie as the one on the bass.
- 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, mistress, poor yGET 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", the queens sing about getting makeovers by the German portrait painter. 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 a pedophile, 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.
- 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 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... not wanting sex with Henry), 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 attracted the attention of a whole host of unwanted admirers, most of whom were several years her senior. When she was only a teenager, grown men were treating her as a sex object and pressuring her into a sexual relationship before she was ready. Even when she thought she had made a male friend, it turned out he was only being nice to her because he wanted to be her lover, and he ended up raping her.
- 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: Catherine of Aragon's monologue before "No Way" has her describing her life, with every traumatic event being followed by an increasingly-strained "Okay!" until she's saying it with a downright ghoulish smile. And then he announces his intent to divorce her.
- 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: After "All You Wanna Do", Anne Boleyn talks Katherine Howard down in a surprisingly mean-spirited way.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.
- Teens Are Short: Anne Boleyn's often cast as short to emphasise her teenage aesthetic. It also helps if she's shorter than Catherine of Aragon, to sell the "three in the bed and the little one said" joke.
- 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 to the point where Katherine Howard has to tell her to tone it down.
- 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 eventually executed for crimes she didn't commit.
- 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 !
- The finale, "Six", also has a variant of the "Ex-Wives" reprise:
- 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 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.
- The Unapologetic: Anne Boleyn, proudly so. She insists she meant no harm, but also refuses to apologize for anything she said and did, even as it got her 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, to the bitter end.
- Jane Seymour's solo, "Heart of Stone", is hinged on this concept. No matter what happens, her love will persist.
- Unwanted Spouse:
- Henry VIII was very upfront about his dislike of Anna of Cleves during their short-lived marriage. Historically, their relationship became much better after the two divorced.
- Despite not wanting to marry Henry, Catherine Parr hadn't much say in the matter due to him being the King of England.
- 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.
- 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...
TUDOR SWEAT DRIPS DOWN MY B-
- 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!
We switched up the flow, and we changed the prefix
All that we know is that we used to be six wives