THE 16th CENTURY royal world of wife murdering, beheading, imprisonment and terror isn’t, you’d expect, the stuff of musical comedy.

But then out of the darkness has come great theatre success stories, from Sweeney Todd to Phantom.

Now, the story of the six wives of Henry VIII is told in SIX.

Following acclaimed success at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, the West End smash hit features the wives taking to the mic to tell their own personal tales.

Lauren Drew stars as Catherine of Aragon.

“I’m having the time of my life,” she says of the show, written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss.

“But it’s staged very much like a concert in a musical.”

The show remixes five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st century girl power.

The songs from the show have proved to be a chart storming sensation with weekly streams totalling more than 1.5million.

Ann Boleyn’s song ‘Don’t Lose Ur Head’ has been shared over half a billion times.”

Lauren says the show in fact celebrates ‘the power of women.’

“There are six women on stage and we interact with the band on stage. It’s about female empowerment and declaring ‘I don’t need a man’ which is very relevant now.”

Hate to be pedantic, Lauren, but it’s a wee bit hard to see how the empowerment claim can be played out when Henry’s wives, for the most part were treated like palace rodents and exterminated?

“Well, it’s played out as a competition, of sorts,” she explains, smiling.

“It asks which of the wives has had the worst time. All the girls begin sort of nice to each other. But then we learn they become rivals when they want to win.”

What the show does is remind us how women are erased from history.

“And as we learn of each of the Queens, we learn of their life and times and their troubles with Henry, while bringing the audience into the action, trying to win them over.”

She adds; “It’s a really interesting concept. And it’s really like having Little Mix or the Spice Girls on stage.”

There also the clever lyrics to appreciate. ‘What hurts more than a broken heart?’ asks Jane Seymour, staking a claim for her story as the saddest. ‘A severed head,’ retorts Anne Boleyn.

The minxy Anne Boleyn sings a catchy Lily Allen-ish number entitled Don’t Lose Your Head and Jane Seymour is the queen of the power ballad.

These Queens, in a show that’s a little bonkers, may have green sleeves, but their lipstick is rebellious red.

SIX is about love and hate. It’s about revenge. And we learn that despite the trauma of being married to a tyrant these women had great moments in their lives.

It’s no surprise Lauren Drew is having the time of her life.

“I love playing Catherine. She has a great back story, being brought over from Spain to marry Henry’s brother initially.”

Lauren brings massive energy to the role. It’s almost no surprise to learn that as a child growing up in Wales she was a champion freestyle disco dancer.

“I got a point however where I enjoyed singing more and I appeared in Grease in primary school. And I really loved acting.”

And it was no surprise to her parents at all when she took up a place at musical theatre college in London.

“I think part of my desire to become a performer comes from growing up in Port Talbot,” she says, grinning.

“It’s just a little town but it’s produced the likes of Michael Sheen and Anthony Hopkins.”

She laughs; “There must be something in the water.”

Lauren has been working continuously since leaving drama school but she has never played a lead role.

“This is my first,” she says, beaming with delight.

The performer reveals however she was previously offered the chance to appear in SIX, but  turned it down.

“I was offered the chance to cover for the other performers. But I turned it down to take a role in Heathers. And I’m so glad I did.

“Now I get the chance to go in as a lead."

She adds, grinning; “I’m the Queen I always wanted to be.”

There has to be some difficulty with this part, Lauren. It can't all be about amazing songs to sing and great storytelling every night?

“You’re right,” she says, smiling.

“The high heel boots we have to wear really kill the legs. At the end of every performance we have to get our legs up. They really are sore."

SIX, the Theatre Royal, until Saturday