‘There’s a lot going on!’ History-making director of musical Six celebrates Tony award nominations

It was written by two university students, had its first run in a converted hotel conference centre at the Edinburgh fringe and then took the West End by storm. 今, the hit musical Six – in which Henry VIII’s wives give a “histo-remix” pop concert with songs such as Don’t Lose Ur Head – has become the talk of Broadway.

月曜日に, the show created by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss during their final term at Cambridge University received eight nominations for this year’s Tony awards, including best original score, best direction of a musical and best musical.

Moss, who is about to direct a new version of Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre in London, said that she was in the middle of the first day of technical rehearsals for that show when her phone began to ping as the nominations were announced. “My head’s very much somewhere else right now,” she laughed. “There’s a lot going on.”

Moss, 誰が 26 became the youngest female director of a Broadway musical for Six, had originally wondered if it might open in a smaller off-Broadway venue instead. But the response to the musical when it was staged as a tryout in Chicago encouraged producers to decide that they could take it straight to a major New York theatre. “Only a few little things” were altered in the script and lyrics for the US production, such as changing “mate” to “friend”, and swapping words that might sound odd in an American accent. (The Broadway cast sing in their own accents.)

“We were originally worried about whether [US audiences] would get it – do they know enough about British history, how much do they care about Henry VIII? But although it’s not American history, the pop concert is an American form. American audiences know what to do in a pop concert situation.”

The show had been due to officially open on Broadway on 12 行進 2020 but the city’s theatres were closed because of the Covid crisis at 5pm, just hours before curtain up. The feeling that day, said Moss, had been one of relief as she was so worried about whether it was right that venues should still be open and whether her family should even be visiting a theatre amid the rising infection rates.

Moss co-directs the Broadway production of Six with Jamie Armitage. “Jamie and I did the show together as students in 2017 – I was the choreographer and he was the director.” The pair share the nomination for best director, while Six’s costume designer Gabriella Slade, lighting designer Tim Deiling, sound designer Paul Gatehouse, choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille and orchestrator Tom Curran are also nominated.

Moss and Marlow have almost finished writing a new stage musical, Why Am I So Single?, which is about friendship and dating for people in their 20s. They are also working on an animated family feature.

Six has won the pair a legion of fans, known as the queendom, some of whom create tribute art which has decorated the foyer of Six’s venues. Their fans also take part in cosplay and create Six costumes. “Our materials had been sourced from Shepherd’s Bush Market,」 Moss told the Guardian earlier this year. “Once fans found out where to get the Anne Boleyn material we had to go and buy all of it in order to make more costumes ourselves!」

The Tony awards will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York on 12 六月.

Easter 2017
Inspired by Lucy Worsley’s TV series and Beyoncé’s concerts, Moss and Marlow write songs for Six over the university holiday and continue creating the musical in their final term

夏 2017
The show is staged in a student production at the Edinburgh fringe and quickly starts to sell out

12月 2017
Producer Kenny Wax arranges for Six to begin a series of performances at the Arts theatre in London

夏 2018
Along with a successful tour, Six returns to the Edinburgh festival and plays to packed audiences

9月 2018
Six album released; the cast recording has since had more than 100m streams

1月 2019
Begins a long run at the Arts theatre

4月 2019
Six leaves the Olivier awards empty-handed; it had been nominated in five categories

五月 2019
A US production of the musical opens in Chicago

1月 2020
Six opens at Sydney Opera House and later tours Australia

行進 2020
On the day of Six’s official Broadway opening, New York theatres close because of the pandemic

12月 2020
Six begins a short run at the Lyric in London as theatres reopen after the lockdown

9月 2021
The show moves into its current West End home, the Vaudeville theatre

五月 2022
Six picks up eight Tony-award nominations