HIT show Six is set to become the first musical to make a return to London’s West End since the Covid-19 crisis brought the curtain down on theatre productions across the UK in March.
The brilliantly original musical, which reimagines King Henry VIII’s ill-fated wives as a girl-band, is due to move temporarily from the Arts Theatre to the larger Lyric on Shaftesbury Avenue for an 11-week run beginning on Saturday November 14.
There will be nine shows a week.
The pandemic means that capacity at the venue has been reduced to allow for social distancing and other measures to protect against Covid-19 infection will have to be followed, including the audiences having to wear face masks, contactless tickets and temperature testing.
The Six UK Touring Cast will also start performing again in November, with a six-week run at the Lyric Theatre at the Lowry in Salford from Friday November 27.
Six’s producers, Kenny Wax, Wendy and Andy Barnes and George Stiles, said in a statement they accepted that the need for social distancing made putting the musical back on at this time “unlikely to be economically viable”, but added, “we hope to entertain many thousands of theatregoers who have been starved of live entertainment since March.”
They pointed out that its two UK productions provide work for many people, from actors and musicians to costume makers, stage managers and ticketing staff, commenting, “we hope that opening Six will help build audience confidence and bring business back to the local economy.
“We also understand that restarting productions, particularly musicals, remains impossible for most producers for reasons of scale, finance and lack of cancellation insurance.
“We continue to look forward to the day when social distancing is removed and theatre can play to 100 per cent capacity.”
Six started out as a small Cambridge University student production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival three years ago, and has gone on to professional productions in the UK and internationally.
The six wives take it in turn to sing and to tell their stories with the idea of seeing which one had the hardest time at the hands of Henry and so most deserves to be the group’s lead singer.
Depending on how the Covid-19 pandemic pans out, Six is expected to be back at the Arts Theatre in March next year.