The SIX queens are ready to go live in consort once again—but with a socially distanced twist.
The internationally buzzy musical will return to U.K. stages this summer, becoming the first West End musical to do so since the coronavirus pandemic shut down theatres around the world. Of course, health precautions prohibit theatres from reopening and operating as they once did for now, so the show will play festival-style in open air sites, with audiences attending while being stationed in their own vehicles.
The plan marks a collaboration with Utilita Live From the Drive-In, a program from Live Nation ensuring live performances can go on in some capacity in accordance with government guidance and restrictions. Audiences will drive their vehicles to designated spots, where they will be able to set up a socially distanced private area to watch.
Aside from the atypical seating arrangement, the Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss musical will otherwise be the same as it played with full production elements, including a live “Ladies in Waiting” band. Big screens will also project the performance throughout the playing arena.
The musical will play multiple performances in 12 open spaces across the country, with each venue equipped to accommodate about 300 vehicles (limit seven people per vehicle).
Tentatively and based on availability, the Arts Theatre cast will play Milton Keynes, Leeds, Teeside, Lincoln, Cheltenham, Newmarket, and Birmingham, with the U.K. tour cast taking the stage in Liverpool, Bolton, Bristol, Edinburgh, and London-area Northway Village.
“With the industry in crisis, theatres struggling, and some even going out of business, this drive-in event offers hope for the future, and equally importantly, jobs for about 50 of our company,” producer Kenny Was said, noting that rehearsals and travel will take place “in a bubble” and follow up-to-date protocol.
After originating in the U.K. at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, SIX, a pop-laden re-imaging of Henry VIII’s six wives, headed to London, going on to earn five Olivier Award nominations. The musical began previews on Broadway February 13, but was hours short of its official opening night March 12 before the New York shutdown brought all productions to a standstill, with the U.K. and other engagements around the world following suit shortly after.
Tickets for the drive-in presentations will go on sale July 3 at LiveNation.co.uk. See below for the full schedule.
August 4–9: Milton Keynes
The National Bowl, Watling St.
August 11–16: Liverpool
Central Docks, Liverpool Waters
August 11–16: Leeds
Leeds East Airport
August 18–23: Bolton
University of Bolton Stadium
August 18–23: Teeside
Teesside International Airport,
August 25–27: Lincoln
August 29–30: Cheltenham
August 25–30: Bristol
September 1–6: Edinburgh
The Royal Highland Centre
September 1–3: Newmarket
September 5–10: Birmingham
Resorts World Arena
September 8–12: London (Northaw)