Brighton undergraduate tours with new musical, ‘Six’

16 July, 2018

BIMM Brighton guitar student Amy Shaw will be heading off on tour with a much lauded new musical theatre production ‘Six’ this month. Her rigorous touring schedule includes dates at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a limited run in London’s West End.

Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, and directed by Moss and Jamie Armitage, ‘Six’ is based on the lives and trials of the six wives of Henry VIII. The pop-concert style musical includes numbers such as “Ex Wives”, “Haus of Holbein” and “Don’t Lose Ur Head”.

Curious yet? Check out this promotional lyric video for a taste of what to expect.

‘Six’ recently concluded a week long stint at the Norwich Playhouse before moving on to the Cambridge Arts Theatre from 17 to 21 July, with further dates and venues to be announced. In August, the show will move on for a month-long run at the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, playing at Underbelly’s purple cow in George Square from the 1st to the 27th. After this, the show runs from 30 August to 23 September at the London Arts Theatre.

The plot is all about the wives of Henry VIII, yet set in the modern day, with each character competing as to who had the worst marriage to the infamous king, and the winner of the competition gets to be the lead singer of the band.

Despite the somewhat ludicrous storyline, the underlying message of this production is one of feminism and empowerment, ultimately seeking to highlight the individual back-stories of Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, Catherine of Aragon, Catherine Howard, Catherine Parr and Jane Seymour, rather than the divorces and subsequent beheadings which befell them.    

During its early stages, the producers of the show went on the hunt for female pop rock musicians to help bring the music to the stage in a completely live performance environment. This is where young BIMM Brighton undergraduate Amy Shaw comes in.

“A Facebook post in one of the ‘musician wanted’ pages was looking for a female guitarist to play in an on-stage band for ‘Six’. I submitted my CV and a bunch of photos, some recordings of my playing in various different bands and my social media links. A few days later they called me and offered me the job, sent me the score and then I was in rehearsals a few days later.”

She reflects on the quick turnaround between her CV submission and the first gig date with ‘Six’ as well as the importance of the network of peers she forged during her time at BIMM.

“It’s been a whirlwind process and I still cant quite believe it’s happened. If it hadn’t been for my friend seeing the post, I might never have gotten the job. The friend who tagged me in the post was the first person (other than my housemates that I met at BIMM), so it goes to show you never know what’s going to come from the people you meet when you’re studying.”

We’re incredibly pleased Amy has landed herself a role as a touring session musician – and all before she’s officially graduated! We look forward to seeing how her promising young career unfolds.


If you’re interested in studying a BA (Hons) Professional Musicianship Degree course like Amy, click here.  

Photo c/o Ollie Dolling

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