Politicians may be deep in election mode, but six queens will extend their reign over Canberra from Saturday night.
The Broadway and West End hit Six The Musical has taken over the Canberra Theatre Centre stage for three weeks, bringing with it the stories of Henry VIII's six wives.
With each queen inspired by a canon of music divas including Adele, Lily Allen, Beyoncé and Ariana Grande, the women have been transformed from Tudor royalty into pop princesses as they each tell their rebellious histories - beyond the rhyme "Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived" which they are usually known for.
"It's a bit of a Trojan horse in that if you're coming looking for just a great night up theatre, that is what you'll get," said Vidya Makan, who plays the sixth queen Catherine Parr.
"You'll get an incredible set of songs and it's an amazing experience. But if you are looking for something a bit more of a theatrical night, there is a lot that runs underneath the glitz and the glamour and the sound, where you'll actually experience something and maybe learn something that is of now."
Canberra is the first stop for the musical on its tour across the country, following its premiere at the Sydney Opera House, where it had a record-breaking 15-week run.
It follows on from the success it had on the West End where it was nominated for six Olivier Awards and won two BBC Radio 2 Audience Awards. Meanwhile, the studio album has had more than 450 million streams worldwide.
But it was humble beginnings for Six, which started as a student production, written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss in a 100-seat room at the Edinburgh Festival. Never in a million years did the writing duo consider the musical would get as big as it has.
"The intention was literally to do this production for a month at the Edinburgh Fringe and not embarrass ourselves or the people who are performing on stage. And also to try and not lose the musical theatre society at uni any money," Marlow previously told The Canberra Times.
"So anything beyond that point that's happened has exceeded unbelievably cool in quite a big way."
As the Australian cast prepared for this weekend's preview shows - ahead of official opening night on Wednesday - they said they were excited to show Canberra just why Six has proved to be such a hit. And if they get a chance to discover what Canberra has to offer them, that's the cherry on top.
"I feel like I keep walking past families saying 'Hey have you heard about Six? Come and see it," said Loren Hunter, who plays third wife Jane Seymour.
"I think it's such a magical experience to share with people you love and get that bit of laughter and joy. Also Canberra's beautiful. Experiencing a new city is very exciting."
Six the Musical is at Canberra Theatre until May 15. For tickets go to canberratheatrecentre.com.au.
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