19 thoughts on “Six: The Musical — A Theatrical Digression

  1. Six may be my favorite musical, like, EVER, to the point where it’s actually the subject of my master’s thesis. So glad you’re sharing the love!

      1. When I finish it, absolutely! :) Frock Flicks might actually get a tiny thank you in my dedications, since I found two of my sources thanks to your name-dropping them (Karen Lindsey’s Divorced Beheaded Survived, and Susan Bordo’s Creation of Anne Boleyn).

  2. Two of my favorite things: Frock Flicks and Six! So glad you stepped outside of the usual TV and movies to cover this one! I’m dying to see it when it hits Broadway this spring!

  3. I like the melodies, but I loathe how the musical made “stupid Anne Boleyn” a thing, I didn’t think there was a version of Anne I hated more than Gregory’s, but this one might be it

    1. She’s not ACTUALLY stupid, she’s playing into the perception people held of her as stupid.

      1. But she was seen as clever? Anne was given an extremely good education for a courtier’s daughter, she was smart.
        The musical had her say “politics, not my thing”, when Anne was passionate about the reformation, and went against Cromwell politically when it came to how to spend the money from the monasteries. Politics was one of the reasons she was killed, so I just find it disrespectful to remove that, and make her seem actually guilty of adultery by having her sing “maybe I’ll flirt with a guy or three just to make him jel”, and have that be the reason for her losing head.

        It might not have been the writer’s intention, they might even have written it as a joke, but many who don’t care about historical facts but have seen the musical now think Anne Boleyn was stupid, you only need to look up the musical or Anne Boleyn at sites like tumblr or twitter to see that.

        1. Yeah, well, I’ve actually seen the musical, and that is NOT true. You don’t get the full picture if you just listen to the cast album, she has one of the smartest lines in the show towards the end. Her seeming dumb is part of an act meant to present her as an irreverent bad girl, like Avril Lavigne or Lily Allen, while also trying to evoke sympathy from the audience in order to get them on her side so that she can claim the prize of being the band’s leading lady. I promise you, the fandom you’re seeing on Twitter and Tumblr is very much in on the entirety of the musical, not just the recording, it’s one big inside joke to us.
          “Don’t Lose Ur Head” is a carefully crafted, selective version of her history that rings true to some key facts. She was absolutely one of the best educated women of her time, but that hasn’t been a central focus of her depiction in pop culture, where her sexuality is more often the focus, and moreover, politics were very much NOT her thing originally. She came to Henry’s court hoping to make a good marriage according to her station, not planning to become history’s most infamous homewrecker. That’s something she was pushed into by the men in her life, her father, her uncle, and Henry.
          The real line you need to focus on is “what was I meant to do?” It seems coy, but she has a point. She arguably did exactly what she was meant to do, she flirted with Henry because filial piety required it of her, she held out against Henry’s advances for years because she knew it wasn’t right, but she had to cave eventually because he was the king, and he wanted her. He left her with no other choice. And even in the song, it clearly wasn’t just about her being close to other men, it was about the fact that she didn’t meekly put up with affairs and behaved in ways that undermined him. The qualities about her that made Henry fall for her were the same ones that made him eventually hate her (along with failing to give him the son he wanted).
          And one more thing: Her imagined ‘happy ending’ in the final song is ALL about her intelligence; she turns Henry down, takes ‘Greensleeves’ and turns it into her own song, becoming a famous performer who eventually worked with Shakespeare.

  4. I am excited as it was announced last week it’s coming to Australia next year. Definitely interested in going.

  5. Theater posts, fckyeah!!! I’ve been obsessed with “Six” and am so happy to see you liked it :)

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