Behind the Curtain: An Interview with SIX The Musical Star Reca Oakley
The smash hit musical SIX, has recently welcomed a brand-new set of Queens to the West End which is currently playing at The Vaudeville Theatre!
Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, SIX is the winner of over 35 international awards, including two 2022 Tony Awards®, a WhatsOnstage award, and nominated for five Olivier Awards!
I got the chance to speak to New Queen Reca Oakley who is currently making her WESTEND DEBUT as Anna of Cleves and has been seen in (SIX - NCL, After Midnight, Sister Act, South Pacific, Big River and Walt Disney World’s Festival of The Lion King) .
Most people know what SIX is about, but for people who don’t know the show, how would you describe SIX to them?
The SIX wives of Henry VIII hold a competition in the form of a Pop Concert. The Queen who has suffered the worse with the King will become the Lead singer of the band for the rest of their tour! They later realise their life cannot be defined by their time with the king but by their individualised strength!
What are you most nervous and excited about joining the show?
I was most excited for making my West end debut and being able to meet the fans every night. This is such a detailed show and so I was most nervous because of course you don’t want to make mistakes but what I learned is mistakes happen and the people who support this show understand that and love us anyhow!
What research and inspiration are you drawing on to create your version of your role?
There are many aspect of the show we research and draw inspiration from. We all are given a very entertaining documentary along with excerpts that dive deep into the history of each relationship King Henry had with the Queens. Because this show is set up in concert form we get to watch bits of Beyonce live at Rose land. We study her storytelling ability, her musicality, and the way she connects with fans.
My personal inspiration comes from musicians such as Missy Elliot and Pink! I study their individuality and how they are unapologetically themselves.
Tell me how you were first introduced to SIX? And what made you want to audition to be in the show?
I actually first heard SIX while working for Norwegian creative studios. I was working on another musical just across the hall and whilst on a break we heard an insane collection of voices belting, for the Gods, the world ‘LIVE’ in perfect harmony! That’s all I needed to hear. I remember saying to one of my cast mates “What in the world was that? What is this show and can I be in it?!” I became obsessed! I didn’t even know of the impact it had on the world, I just knew the effect it had on me. A year later I reached out to Pearson Casting and sent them my vocal reel just to see what would happen… and boy I’m glad I did!
What was the first day of rehearsals like?
The first day of rehearsal is an introduction of the production team and cast. We read through the script and sing along to the amazing music! We dance a bit and learn some terminology.
How did you get into the Musical Theatre industry? And why did you want to become a performer?
I played basketball before I went into musical theatre. My dream was to become professional basketball player in Spain! I remember one day I accompanied my sister to her high school theatre where we watched her friends in Beauty and the Beast. All of sudden my dream changed. I was going to be in theatre
As a kid, I had so characters and creative stories in my head and never understood why? Once I found theatre it was as if a lightbulb went off. I suddenly found where I belonged. Theatre was an outlet, a safe haven, and allowed me the opportunity to meet some incredible people who I now consider family. I owe theatre everything.
Was there a show that started your love of musicals? And how old were you when you first saw a musical?
Theatre was my obsession and there were so many shows that captured my heart growing up but one that stood out in particular was Spring Awakening.
I was around 14 years old when I saw my first musical.
What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage or the curtain goes up?
The last thing I do before that curtain goes up is send up a prayer. I ask God to protect me and my fellow Queens throughout the show. I ask him to take away anxiety and any energy that will hinder us from telling our story. Lastly I send up a prayer To my late Grandmother. And I ask her to watch over me. I dedicate my performance each night to her.
Describe SIX in one sentence.
SIX phenomenal individuals reclaiming their power!
The producers are continuing their firm commitment to access and education– including BSL, audio described and captioned show in July and October 2024, and new Sing-A-Long performances on 12 May and 25 August 2024, plus the first
ever schools only matinees on Thursdays during term time.
SIX The Musical is booking up at The VAUDEVILLE THEATRE UNTIL NOVEMBER 2024
For more show info read below!
IMPORTANT SHOW INFO
SIX THE MUSICAL
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - 8pm
Saturday - 4pm & 8pm
Sunday - 3pm & 7pm
80 minutes no interval
Age recommendation: 10+