Toby Marlow, one of the writers of smash-hit West End musical Six, saved the day at the weekend when he donned high heels and leather hotpants to play the sixth Queen Catherine Parr. With just a few hours notice, the two performances initially threatened by cast illness went ahead.
Producers decided to stage a concert version of Six The Musical rather than disappoint two sold-out audiences. Audience members were offered tickets to see the fully choreographed show at a later date.
Maiya Quansah-Breed who normally plays Catherine Parr was on holiday. Regular alternates Grace Mouat and Vicki Manser had sore throats as did Natalie Paris who plays Jane Seymour. So regular alternate Courtney Stapleton covered Seymour but it still left the Catherine Parr track exposed. In addition to Toby, Genesis Lynea, who sang the role of Anna of Cleves on the global smash-hit Six Studio Cast Recording also joined the cast for the shows.
Late on Sunday night Toby took to Twitter to thank his fellow cast members, the audiences and the army of Six fans who sent thousands of messages of support after news of his appearance was first anounced by West End Understudies:
“Today was one of a kind (LOL!). THANK U to the everyone at the Arts, and to all the backstage team and to the QUEENS for working together so amazingly today to make sure we could put on a show. You all made me feel so supported. Also, THE HUGEST THANK U POSSIBLE to both audiences today for being so cool about the concert performance and the cast changes!
“ALSO just wanna say that we have the best bloomin fandom in the whole wide world & QUEENDOM. All ur posts and tweets and messages today filled me with loads of love and confidence, and plz know we will always do everything we can to give u a show. To all of our beautiful and talented UK queens: sending the hugest love to ALL of u, and I hope those of who r still recovering r taking care of urselves and return to ur usual FABulous selves soon.”
Producer Kenny Wax said “given that the show is completely sold out for the next few weeks, the Six company were determined not to disappoint a full house who we would have been unable to re seat in the immediate future. Writer Toby Marlow, Genesis Lynea who many will have heard singing ‘Cleves’ on the show soundtrack, together with the rest of the cast, the band and the stage management were absolute troopers. We are so grateful to them also to our fans, the amazing Queendom for their support.”