Toyah on Christmas Radio: Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas

December 8th, 2017

ntshc12aAiring on BBC radio for the first time since it was originally broadcast in December 2012, Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas includes an interview with Toyah during this fascinating 30 minute special, discussing ‘Smash Hits’ in the early 1980s and also the memorable and iconic ‘Brave New World’ cover issue.

Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas:
BBC Radio 4 Extra:

Sat 23rd Dec: 7.30am/5.30pm | Xmas Eve: 5.30am

Neil Tennant had a life as a journalist before he became famous as a Pet Shop Boy. In fact, it was on a Smash Hits trip to New York that he had his big breakthrough with the record producer Bobby O.

Here, 30 years after his first stint on pop’s most successful and inventive magazine, Neil recalls the golden days of Smash Hits. We hear from founder and legendary magazine maker Nick Logan, editors David Hepworth and Mark Ellen, writers Miranda Sawyer and Sylvia Patterson, and from regular Smash Hits cover girl, Toyah.

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We also sample a rare recording from the 1982 Christmas Flexidisc (a message from the stars) and probably Neil Tennant’s first recording – the music for a trailer advertising Smash Hits stickers.

Producer: Susan Marling. A Just Radio Ltd. production for BBC Radio 4.

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Toyah on Christmas TV: Toyah’s Vintage Christmas

December 6th, 2017

Toyah’s Vintage Christmas, Toyah’s first festive music special for Vintage TV, originally filmed in 2011, is being re-shown again this Christmas. This has become almost a festive tradition in itself, airing for its seventh consecutive Yuletide. Click on the screen caps to view more.

Toyah’s Vintage Christmas: Vintage TV: Saturday 16th December: 10am
Episode 1. Snuggle down by the fire with the family as punk princess, Toyah Willcox, introduces some of the finest Christmas videos of the 20th Century, sprinkled with a generous handful of fun festive facts.

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Isle of Wight County Press: Jack Up The 80s 2018

December 4th, 2017

jute18aToyah Willcox to perform at Jack Up The 80s 2018

Pop sensation Toyah Willcox is set to join T’Pau and Leo Sayer at Jack Up The 80s 2018.

The award-winning rock legend, stage/screen actress, and music composer, has enjoyed a career spanning over 35 years. She has amassed 13 Top 40 singles, recorded 24 albums and toured across the world.

Organisers said “We’re really thrilled, Toyah was a major force of the UK music scene in the 1980s and has remained a well-respected contemporary artist.

“She is renowned for her lively, energetic stage performances during which festival-goers can expect to hear hit singles It’s a Mystery, Thunder in the Mountains, I Want to be Free, Good Morning Universe, Brave New World and Rebel Run.”

• Continue reading at the Isle of Wight County Press. Browse Toyah’s confirmed gig dates and festival appearances for 2018 at toyahwillcox.com.

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Island Echo: Toyah Joins Jack Up The 80s Line Up

December 4th, 2017

jute18bPop Punk Princess Toyah Willcox Joins Jack Up The 80s Line Up

One of the most iconic artists of the decade, a regular on Top of the Pops and star of countless TV shows, charismatic Toyah Willcox is set to join hit makers T’Pau and Leo Sayer at Jack Up The 80s next August.

From punk princess to cult stage actress, Toyah is a uniquely gifted performer and an inextinguishable flame. She is one of Britain’s iconic household names, an award-winning rock legend as well as a much-loved stage/screen actress and music composer. In a career spanning over 35 years she has amassed 13 Top 40 singles, recorded 24 albums and toured live across the world.

Jack Up The 80s volume 6 will take place over the weekend of 11th and 12th August and this will be the festival’s second year at its new home Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde.

Owing to the success of the event earlier this year which saw sell-out crowds, 2018 tickets will be strictly limited. Mainstream Early Bird tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd January and will be available to purchase from www.jackupthe80s.co.uk.

• Continue reading at Island Echo. Browse Toyah’s confirmed gig dates and festival appearances for 2018 at toyahwillcox.com.

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eFestivals: Toyah, Leo Sayer & T’Pau for Jack Up the 80s

December 4th, 2017

efest18aToyah, Leo Sayer, and T’Pau are the first acts confirmed for retro festival Jack Up the 80s which will take place at Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde, Isle of Wight from Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th August 2018.

The festival raises funds for local charities and good causes on the Isle of Wight, having raised £20,000 in the past two years alone.

Many more acts will be announced in the coming weeks and months. Early bird tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd January and we’ll have links to buy at that time.

• Continue reading at efestivals.co.uk. Browse Toyah’s confirmed gig dates and festival appearances for 2018 at toyahwillcox.com.

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Aaaaaaaah! on TV: Film 4

December 1st, 2017

aaaaaaaah15vAaaaaaaah! is airing again, mid-December, on Film4.

Check out our huuuuge Aaaaaaaah! news archive here or by clicking on the screenshots to the left.

Aaaaaaaah!: Film 4: Friday 15th December: 2.20am
Writer-director-star Steve Oram’s experimental satire is set in a parallel present in which, despite wearing clothing and developing advanced technology, mankind never attained the power of speech. Instead, people communicate in gestures and non-verbal vocalisms, ranging from grunts to whistles and growls. And this isn’t the only similarity to our great ape cousins, as social and sexual behaviour is closer to that of gorillas or bonobos and is completely shorn of social niceties. The film opens with a grieving alpha male and his companion ritually urinating on a photo of the dominant male’s wife to mark her loss. They then move through woodland and into London’s sprawling suburbs, intent on staking out new territory for themselves…

Starring: Jade Alexander, Julian Barratt, Missa Blue, Holli Dempsey, Marcus Dempsey, Noel Fielding, Toyah Willcox.

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Shakespeare Magazine: Toyah as Miranda/QEI

November 28th, 2017

She was Miranda in Derek Jarman’s 1979 film of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Today, Toyah is Queen Elizabeth I in a stage version of Jarman’s Jubilee. (She was also in the original 1978 film)

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Aaaaaaaah! on TV: Filmfear Interview Special

November 28th, 2017

Filmfear Interview Special: Film 4: Friday 8th December: 2.50am
Features interviews with the talent behind FilmFear 2017′s British premieres: actor-director Alice Lowe talks about Prevenge; actor-director Steve Oram talks about Aaaaaaaah! and A Dark Song; director Gareth Tunley and star Tom Meeten talk about The Ghoul; director Liam Gavin talks about A Dark Song; and director Nick Gillespie talks about Tank 432.

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100 Hits: Best Eighties 5CD: Don’t Fall in Love (I Said)

November 22nd, 2017

100hits17aToyah’s fantastic poptastic 1985 single Don’t Fall in Love (I Said) is included on, the just released, 100 Hits – The Best Eighties Album.

The collection is available on 5CD set or MP3 download.

CD3: Kim Wilde – Kids In America, Adam & The Ants – Stand And Deliver, Aneka – Japanese Boy, King – Love & Pride, Howard Jones – New Song, Altered Images – Happy Birthday, The Bangles – Walk Like an Egyptian, Men Without Hats – Safety Dance, Haircut 100 – Love Plus One, Bow Wow Wow – I Want Cand, Fiction Factory – (Feels Like) Heaven, The Lotus Eaters – The First Picture of You, Spandau Ballet – Fight for Ourselves, H2O – Dream to Sleep, The Psychedelic Furs – Pretty in Pink, Toyah – Don’t Fall in Love (I Said), Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2, Haysi Fantayzee – John Wayne Is Big Leggy, Bill Wyman – (Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star, Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride.

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80s Pop Annual Double-Vinyl: I Want To Be Free

November 22nd, 2017

80spopannual17aToyah’s iconic 1981 Top 10 hit I Want To Be Free is included on, the just released, 80s Pop Annual double-vinyl compilation album.

Continuing the tributes to certain decades, this selection concludes with 80s POP ANNUAL. The definitive sound of the 80s, it collects together some of the greatest songs of the decade. Presented in a gatefold sleeve with original artwork and pressed on 2x 180g Heavyweight black vinyl, featuring huge hits: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Wham!), Footloose (Kenny Loggins), Kids In America (Kim Wilde), Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper), Heaven Is A Place On Earth (Belinda Carlisle ), and many more.

80s Pop Annual is available exclusively on vinyl.

SIDE C: Adam & The Ants – Stand And Deliver, Bow Wow Wow – Go Wild In The Country, Haysi Fantayzee – John Wayne Is Big Leggy, Toyah – I Want To Be Free, Altered Images – Don’t Talk To Me About Love, Ultravox – Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, Howard Jones – What Is Love?, The Lotus Eaters – The First Picture of You.

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Harrogate Theatres: Last Laugh Screening

November 21st, 2017

lastlaugh17aWhen your life’s a joke it’s time to stand up!

The story follows a college lecturer, Martin Dawson played by Nick Figgis and his hope to escape from obscurity by having a screenplay made into a film. We see his relationship with his ex-wife and children, his mistress and film agent along with his sometimesoverbearing parents. We witness his eventual breakdown during a cathartic rant on an open mic spot at a local comedy club in front of a packed house. During the performance we see flash backs to a memorable trip to Whitby with all the pathos and comic talent you could expect from Godber as our hero endures an insane weekend with his parents. We have a UK theatrical release scheduled for October2017.

Written by John Godber. Directed by Daniel Coll. Produced by John Danbury and Daniel Coll. Executive Producers: John Godber, Clive Waldron, Sir Rodney Walker and Paul Sewell. Director of Photography Dave Thorp.

With Nick Figgis, Toyah Willcox, Jane Thornton, John Godber, Amy Thompson, Ann Micklethwaite and Paul Lavers.

Original music by Phil Codd, Si Wright and Toyah Willcox.

• Showing at Harrogate Theatre on 8th February 2018. More info here. Visit the Last Laugh Twitter.

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Exeunt Magazine: Review: Jubilee at Royal Exchange, Manchester

November 18th, 2017

exeunt17aNo future: Catherine Love reviews Chris Goode’s furiously intelligent take on the punk movie classic.

Punk is dead. Long live punk.

When director Derek Jarman released Jubilee in 1978, punk had already scaled its zenith and was starting to tumble down the other side. The Sex Pistols had just split. The controversy of ‘God Save The Queen’ had come and gone. Thatcher was lurking just beyond the horizon.

Chris Goode’s version – more of a playful wrestle with Jarman’s film than an adaptation of it – asks what punk means now, four decades after it had its moment. By the time I was aware of punk in the late 90s, it was already nostalgia. Now, in 2017, it’s distant yet present. It’s Johnny Rotten in butter adverts. It’s mohawks and safety pins at fancy dress parties. It’s the Sex Pistols on the radio.

Jarman’s film suggested that everyone would sell out in the end, and punk proved him right. That abandoning of revolutionary stances and evacuating of radical gestures is worried away at throughout Goode’s reimagining. His Jubilee is firmly located in the now – the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s uranium jubilee, according to protagonist Amyl Nitrite (queer performance artist Travis Alabanza) – and picks at contemporary scabs. Is there still any sort of resistance in nihilism at a time when the film’s defiant cry of “no future” feels more and more like a simple statement of truth?

• Continue reading at Exeunt Magazine.

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Louder Than War: Jubilee: Manchester, Royal Exchange – Review

November 18th, 2017

louderthanwar17aJubilee, originally a film by Derek Jarman released in 1978 is updated for the 21st century at The Royal Exchange, Manchester. Nigel Carr reports back for Louder Than War.

Denounced by Vivienne Westwood at the time of its original release in 1978 as failing to represent punk, Derek Jarman’s Jubilee was a social statement on the breakdown of modern society. Anarchy ruled, policemen got firebombed and Queen Elizabeth, transported from the sixteenth century by the occultist John Dee, surveyed a decaying dystopian, modern Britain.

Fast forward forty years and ‘nothing has changed’, ‘nothing has worked’. Gloriously narrated by Travis Alabanza’s Amyl Nitrate, the themes are brought bang up to date in a dense, visceral allegory of a still decaying Britain with references as disparate as Brexit, Grenfell – ‘Tower blocks are built to kill the poor’ and ‘Isis, Isis Isis!’

• Continue reading at Louder Than War.

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Northern Soul: Review: Jubilee, Royal Exchange, Manchester

November 18th, 2017

northernsoul17aThe 1978 punk film Jubilee set out to shock with violence, nudity and strong language. Nearly 40 years later, the 2017 play features more of the same but shocks for a different reason.

Why is this? Well, thanks in no small part to social media, we’ve become immune. Numb to almost all of it. Punk’s original prophecies have been realised.

At Manchester’s Royal Exchange, ideas, beliefs and concepts are chillingly recited, followed by the angry cry that each “does not work” You can almost hear Johnny Rotten scowl “no future” somewhere in the distance.

Which bring us to Toyah Willcox, the link between old and new. Forty years on from playing pyromaniac Mad in the film, she presides over proceedings (and Derek Jarman’s legacy) as Queen Elizabeth I, surveying a broken Britain terrorised by a generation with no moral compass. Her presence adds just the right amount of gravitas and authenticity to a piece dominated by a young fearless cast.

Travis Alabanza is a charismatic, stand-out as Amyl Nitrate, MC of this horridly exhilarating circus, effortlessly drawing you in with a spiky blend of insults and charm. Comic lines are placed with precision. Despite the bleakness, there are laughs among the splinters. It’s a risky balancing act but the humour translates far more effectively here than it ever did in the cinema.

• Continue reading at Northern Soul.

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Unrestricted Views: Jubilee, Royal Exchange

November 18th, 2017

jubilee17f“We should all be angry. Why aren’t we angry all the time?”

Derek Jarman’s classic punk film Jubilee was released in 1977. I hated it. Bewildered and repelled in equal measure, I just didn’t ‘get it’. Forty years on, I find myself sitting in the Royal Exchange theatre to watch Chris Goode’s stage adaptation. Although aware of a definite sense of trepidation, I am also excited at the prospect of a ‘free-spirited, gloriously rude, take-no-prisoners blast of a show’ (as the publicity describes it).

The pre-set establishes an almost magical mood, and the dissonant elements signal that this production intends to be faithful to Jarman’s original, bewildering vision; the theatre is adorned with graffiti and a strange, ghostly, wordless singing echoes around the space. ‘Queen Elizabeth’ (played by Torah Willcox) sits at a desk, peering into a vanity mirror while a shabby mattress lies stranded on the floor nearby.

The first scene involves a Shakespearian exchange between the Queen and her advisor, in which the angel Ariel is invoked and appears on the stairs, dressed in true punk attire and hair-style. Then, as they withdraw to survey what follows from the First Gallery, some 1970s-type streetlights descend from the ceiling and the main characters explode onto the stage; ‘Mad’, toting her gun, ‘Angel’ and ‘Sphinx’ (two brothers) who immediately strip each other naked and roll around incestuously on the shabby mattress, and ‘Crabs’, revelling in a shopping trolley. It is loud and wild and angry and ‘in-yer-face’ – and dares us to be offended or shocked or amused or exhilarated (or all of the above.) So far, so Derek Jarman. But it is the introduction of Travis Alabanza’s ‘Amyl Nitrate’ that brings Jarman’s Jubilee into 2017. Throughout the show, Alabanza delivers some blistering political diatribes, reflecting on last forty years with icy panache and passion. Addressing the audience directly, it is also she who introduces self-awareness into the proceedings, fully acknowledging the irony of this celebration of punk anarchy and vitriol being unleashed on a polite, middle-class theatre audience.

• Continue reading at Unrestricted Views.

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