Bringing back their first ever play, written by theatre company Living Spit, for their London debut, The Six Wives of Henry VIII was a funny affair.
The two-man show saw Howard Coggins taking up the role of the infamous King himself, whilst his theatre partner Stu Mcloughlin took on the role of every other character, including all six of Henry’s wives.
What has to be commended, first and foremost is the love and commitment these two have for their art. Stu Mcloughlin’s campy characterisations of some of history’s most famous female protagonists were ingenious and created quirky personalities for the women who are otherwise just a name.
Written as a comedy, it took a modern twist, with references to Britain’s Got Talent and Blind Date (both of which gave Stu the opportunity to show off more of his ingenious characters) which made it family friendly and allowed both children and adults to engage.
The show includes songs; well written and powerfully performed by Stu and Howard using guitars to accompany their own vocals. Their basic, harmonised choreographed dance routines brought extra flair that saw giggles from the entire room.
Whilst the audience is diverse in age, this is an unquestionably family friendly show. Although crude at times; a lot of semi-nakedness and some misogyny that may or may not have been tongue-in-cheek, there was a lot of historical accuracy amongst the banter between the two co-stars. An excellent way to teach children about one of history’s most famous Kings, whilst providing comical excellence for the grown-ups.
All their props are handmade; including the polygraph test, which was made out of a bike helmet, some car jump start leads and a bell and all of the costumes cost £10 or less from charity shops. Whilst adding to the comical effect it also allowed your attention to remain with the two stars whose onstage chemistry was commendable.
There is an abundance of talent between these two and the theatre company that they run in the West country has a long list of comedy plays that are based on important historical stories. For some slapstick comedy, seasoned and incredibly talented actors and for a fun, accurate history lesson get down to the Kings Head Theatre in Islington, immediately. Show is recommended for ages 12 and above.
The play is running at Kings Head Theatre until the 7th of March and tickets start at £18. More info and bookings here.