Revolutionize the Renaissance: Where Art Meets Beat

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This summer, the acclaimed musical SIX is teaming up with the National Portrait Gallery for a series of captivating events centered around the new exhibition, “Six Lives: The Stories of Henry VIII’s Queens.” Running until 8 September, this collaboration promises a blend of history, performance, and interactive experiences that you won’t want to miss.

On Wednesday, 3 July, SIX creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss joined educator and historian Caroline Marcus for a dynamic panel discussion at the gallery, engaging students during a school’s history study day.

On Saturday, 6 July, you can enjoy a unique combination of entertainment and education. Attend an interpreted performance of SIX at the Vaudeville Theatre at 4pm, then head to the National Portrait Gallery at 6pm for a Deaf-led BSL tour of “Six Lives: The Stories of Henry VIII’s Queens.” Led by Alan Murray, this tour for D/deaf and hard of hearing visitors will spotlight key works in the exhibition and encourage interactive group dialogue.

Tuesday, 9 July, offers secondary school pupils a chance to delve into history with a special careers day. The event includes a panel discussion with the SIX the Musical team, featuring current cast member Hannah Lowther. Students will also work with the Gallery’s conservation specialists, using various tools and techniques to explore the portraits of the queens.

On Friday, 12 July, don’t miss the opportunity to hear from SIX the Musical’s visionary costume designer, Gabriella Slade. She will participate in the panel discussion “Page, Stage and Screen: Dramatising Six Lives,” alongside other creative voices inspired by the queens’ lives. Chaired by historian Tracy Borman, this discussion will explore the adaptation of the queens’ biographies into musicals, operas, plays, novels, films, and television.

Friday, 26 July, marks a special one-off Tudor-inspired SIX ‘One of A Kind’ late opening at the National Portrait Gallery. The event kicks off with a 10-minute costumed performance from the current West End cast, followed by an evening filled with singing, dancing, and a top-to-bottom Tudor takeover. Visitors are encouraged to wear their best historical or glitter-covered attire. Enjoy creative workshops, costume-handling sessions, costumed life drawing, a DJ set from Drag performer Timberlina, and a dance workshop with SIX’s resident director and choreographer.

Finally, on Monday, 2 September, the National Portrait Gallery will host a free Youth Late event from 7 – 9pm for young people aged 18 – 25. This evening features live performances, music, workshops, “herstory” tours, talks, fashion, and activities in multiples of six. Dress up as your favorite queen for a chance to win prizes! The evening includes free refreshments, snacks, and exhibition entry.

Producer Kenny Wax shared his excitement about the partnership, stating, “No offence to history teachers or university lecturers, but one could argue that Marlow and Moss’s brilliant retelling of the stories of the wives of Henry VIII has done more for popularizing Tudor history than anything else in the past 50 years. Retelling ‘theirstory’ in a modern vernacular has made this slice of history more relevant than ever and has hopefully opened doors for educators. With sold-out theatres and over 1 billion streams of the show’s music, it’s clear that SIX has captured the public’s imagination.

We couldn’t be more delighted that the National Portrait Gallery has partnered with SIX for this series of events alongside the live exhibition. We are sure it will be a great success, and special thanks to Caroline Marcus for championing various collaborations across the Royal Palaces and Museums since the show first opened six years ago.”

https://www.npg.org.uk/schools-hub/history-study-day-the-six-lives-of-henry-viiis-queens

https://www.npg.org.uk/schools-hub/history-careers-day

https://sixthemusical.com/london

https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/event-root/july/page-stage-screen

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