'Six' writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss share the 'Six' secrets
SiX is back in the West End, and we could not be more excited! We chatted with the musical’s writers Toby Marlow and Lucky Moss earlier in lockdown, and they answered some fan questions. From writing Quarantine: The Musical to ideas that didn’t make the final cut, Marlow and Moss share some behind the scenes secrets, potential future projects, and more in this exclusive interview.
If you were to write a musical about any other historical figures, who would it be?
Toby Marlow: I would have to say us, you and me Lucy. Because I know the most about us so we wouldn’t have to do as much research and also I can’t think of anyone else.
Lucy Moss: I actually have a real answer to this question! I would write a musical about the Irish revolutionary Robert Emmet who tried to stage this rebellion in 1802 and he made everyone these green velvet uniforms and tried to make this big rebellion happen. And he turned up, and only 10 people were there or something.
Toby: That sounds amazing. And by saying that, you’ve made me look really self-centered and narcissistic.
Lucy: Just a fringe benefit.
Toby: We can work that into the musical.
What would the opening number be called if you wrote Quarantine: The Musical?
Lucy: I think it would be “We’re All Gonna Die” which is how I was feeling at the very beginning before I calmed down. So it would be an ode to the panic that everybody I know was feeling.
Toby: Mine would be, “Snog Me On My Elbow.” Because I think the first number would be a date, and then coronavirus has happened so you have to greet people with the elbows. And it would be the end of the date.
Lucy: “I’m hearing it to the tune of “Whispered conversations.”
Toby: [singing to the tune of “As If We Never Said Goodbye”] “Snog me on my elbow. I moisturized this morning. I shaved the hairs!”
Were there any song ideas that didn’t make it into Six?
Toby: I feel like it would a thing of like so [I would say], “I’m kind of thinking Catherine of Aragon’s song should be this emotional ballad because she had a really sad time.” And you’d be like, “Yeah, yeah, or we won’t open the show with a ballad. What do you think?” It would be bad suggestions from me. there were a lot of those.
Lucy: We were originally planning to write interludes for a lot of them, but we didn’t have time. The Hans Holbein song was going to be an interlude and then we made it into a whole thing. We were going to have one where Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were playing cards — this really famous historical moment. Catherine of Aragon said something like “I see you’re chasing the king”; it was like a whole scandal and drama. So we were going to have a card playing game or something. But we were too lazy to write that.
SIX is a cultural hit around the world, and it's especially embraced by the LGBTQ+ community. How do you feel about creating a smash hit at such young ages?
Lucy: Stressed, very stressed about writing another one. It’s probably the only thing we’ll ever do that’s any good at all.
Toby: It’s a little stressful, and the other stressful part is everyone reminds you all the time how young you are, which makes you feel even more young. Imposter syndrome vibes.
But it also feels really cool because obviously, when we were writing this, we weren’t expecting it to go anywhere beyond the Edinburgh Fringe and our group of friends come watch it and our mums. And so the fact that it has become a thing that is more well-known, and as a result of it, people have been asking us to write more things, what’s really cool is we as young people have been given a platform to talk about things that we care about and think are important.
What’s been cool about lockdown as well is it’s given us a moment out of the wildness of Six happening everywhere. Let’s take stock. We have been given this platform. What are the things we want to write a musical about? Which has led to “Snog Me On My Elbow” from Quarantine: The Musical. Which, I’m actually sadly not going to write.
Photo credit: Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss (Photos courtesy of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss)
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