Archive for the ‘Press Clips’ Category

Birmingham Mail: 24 Influential Midlands Women

March 12th, 2018

bmail14a24 influential women who make you proud to be from the Midlands

A century after women first won the right to vote in the UK here’s a look at some of those who inspire us from Birmingham and the West Midlands

What have you done today to make you feel proud? Well reading this list could be a start. It’s International Women’s Day 2018 today and we wanted to acknowledge some of the influential Midlands women who inspire us the most.

Leading columnists, athletes, hugely successful songwriters, doctors, innovators, scientists and more. Our list intentionally misses out serving MPs and politicians – although many are deserving of praise.


Toyah Willcox: from Kings Heath, is a singer with a career spanning more than thirty years. Known for her shocking hair and individual style.

Willcox has enjoyed eight Top 40 singles, released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in 40 stage plays and 10 films. She has also presented numerous television shows. Between 1977 and 1983 she fronted the band Toyah, before going solo. She has a star on the Kings Heath Walk of Fame.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail. (Photo © Birmingham Mail)

Exeunt Magazine: Review: Jubilee at the Lyric Hammersmith

March 4th, 2018

jubrev18aNO FUTURE: Brendan Macdonald reviews Chris Goode’s stage version of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee

“It’s funny isn’t it? In 1977, someone shouting NO FUTURE sounded like the most extreme nihilistic punk. Forty years on, it’s a fact. It’s mainstream climate science.”

As Amyl Nitrate (played by Travis Alabanza) perceives, ‘NO FUTURE’ was once a rallying cry of the punk movement, not just a closing refrain to a Sex Pistols anthem. It spoke of a stark fatalism imbued with fury, frustration, and a deep distrust in the current status quo. Chris Goode’s adaptation of Derek Jarman’s 1978 film Jubilee toys with this articulation, hurtling the punk movement into a future that seemingly shouldn’t exist, to see how it survives.

Goode’s adaptation spars with Jarman’s film, keeping faithful to the central tenets of the piece while modernizing it to reflect the current age. It’s messy, chaotic, sex-fueled, and driven more by affect than narrative. Queen Elizabeth I, brilliantly played by one of the film’s original stars Toyah Willcox, travels to the present day with the help of Lucy Ellinson’s Ariel, and passively witnesses the countercultural energy that’s brewing beneath 21st century neoliberal consumerism.

• Continue reading at Exeunt Magazine. Read Exeunt Magazine’s review of Jubilee at Royal Exchange, Manchester, here.

Camden New Journal: Review: Jubilee, at Lyric Hammersmith

March 4th, 2018

jubrev18bChris Goode’s riotous adaptation of Derek Jarman’s seminal film about anarchy in the UK is not for the faint hearted. Featuring simulated sex, unrestrained nudity and mindless acts of violence, this provocative stage version will undoubtedly divide audiences, just as Jarman did in 1978.

Toyah Willcox, who starred as the pyromaniac Mad in the film version, now plays Queen Elizabeth I observing the excesses of a group of friends sharing a squat in Brexit Britain.

Amyl Nitrate (an electrifying performance by Travis Alabanza) serves as our emcee for the evening. Sexual predator Crabs (Rose Wardlaw) lures unsuspecting men home where they often meet a brutal and untimely end, while Bod (Sophie Stone) is the murderous de facto leader of the gang, Ariel, an ethereal presence (Lucy Ellinson), links segments and time.

• Continue reading at the New Camden Journal. (Review by Lucy Popescu)

Jubilee @ Lyric Hammersmith: Further Reviews

February 27th, 2018

jubilee17mCulture Whisper: From the royal box, the time-travelling Queen Elizabeth I (Toyah Willcox, who played pyromaniac teenager Mad in the the original film 40 years ago) lords over proceedings like a dutiful monarch at the Royal Variety Show – and make no mistake, Jubilee is as perfectly random as the Royal Variety. It wilfully defies all theatrical convention, addressing the audience and breaking the wall to provide a sneering commentary on its own construction – Continue reading at Culture Whisper…

Boyz Magazine: However it is the presence of Toyah Willcox, an original cast member of the 1977 film, who plays Elizabeth I, that really gives this show weight. Her command of the role is extraordinary and as the show draws to a close its fitting that one of her own songs closes the proceedings. Crazy stuff! – Continue reading at Boyz Magazine…

Essential Surrey: This provocative and theatrical show reinvents Jarman’s Jubilee for the present day, whilst clearly still clinging onto the punk subculture it was based on. Characterised by anti-establishment views and general anarchy, it is every bit as loud and aggressive as you would expect. The play opens in the same manner as the film with Queen Elizabeth I, starring original cast member Toyah Willcox, time travelling forward into a bleak and destitute contemporary Britain – Continue reading at Essential Surrey…


Stage Review: In the film Toyah Willcox played angry rebel, Mad. Now the 59-year-old punk princess has been elevated to Queen Elizabeth I and she spends most of the production in the theatre’s royal box, watching the action on stage, occasionally breaking into monologues. The Queen is given a vision of the future, and its dystopian desolation initially fills her with pain, before she finds herself sympathising with the group’s radical social commentary – Continue reading at Stage Review…


A Younger Theatre: Jubilee is superb in its metatheacricality, realising the elements of stagecraft present within Jarman’s film. The script cleverly observes the forty years of cultural change since ’77 and is playful in its interaction with members of the audience. It is absurd, with a peculiar, ravenous kind of beauty and it will leave you craving a cigarette lit by a blaze fiercer than hell on earth – Continue reading at A Younger Theatre…


The Upcoming: Chris Goode’s stage adaptation of Derek Jarman and James Whaley’s cult classic punk film, Jubilee (1978), can only be described as a wild ride. Semi-plotless, kinky and violent, Jubilee the play is a vintage punk romp amended to include a far more diverse cast, and to rail against today’s troubling political climate, both at home and abroad. Indeed, it seems only natural to apply that old punk rage to 2018, and the violent dystopia that we’re presented with is often all too believable – Continue reading at The Upcoming…

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Daily Mail: The One Lesson I’ve Learned From Life

February 26th, 2018

dmail18aThe one lesson I’ve learned from life: Toyah Willcox on how you can have the same waist at 60 as you did when you were 23!

Toyah Willcox, 59, shot to fame in the Seventies as a punk singer and actress / She revealed how she spent the past three months overhauling her lifestyle / She says a tailored diet helped her lose weight and improved her energy levels

This year I turn 60, which seems astonishing to me. Yet I’ve never been much of a conformist and I see no reason to become a little old lady. I’ve realised each decade has its own purpose and, in anticipation of my seventh, I’ve spent the past three months overhauling my lifestyle.

Today I have the same waist measurement I had at 23. My energy levels are through the roof, which is good because I’m still playing festivals and I’m known for the energy of my performance. This time last year I felt very different. I was physically and mentally sluggish. I was neither as bright nor as quick as I used to be and I was unhappy with my body shape. But I don’t think it’s inevitable everything should thicken and sag, and I wasn’t willing to watch it happen.

So my husband and I decided to take control of the way we were ageing. We went to the Wildmoor Spa in Stratford to see a Harley Street specialist in DNA. We had ours closely analysed for dietary intolerances and genetic traits that influence the way we process food. Results in, we were given tailored diets to follow. It’s been a major commitment of both money and willpower. I’ve cut out wheat, dairy and all processed foods, but my husband has different rules, so though we cook together, we have different meals. At first, I lost weight because I couldn’t find much to eat, especially on restaurant menus. And I missed cake.

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail. (Photo © Clark Enwell/BackGrid)

Toyah Live! 2018: Newsy Bits!

February 25th, 2018

han18a Toyah Live 2018: Browse Toyah’s official gig diary of confirmed concerts and appearances at…

Hertfordshire Mercury: Saffron Walden’s Audley End House to be transported back to the 80′s with Here and Now festival featuring Jason Donovan, Midge Ure and more: Jason Donovan, Midge Ure, Five Star, Hot Chocolate, Altered Images, T’Pau and Toyah Willcox will all play their hits during this extravaganza of 80’s pop music  – Continue reading at Hertfordshire Mercury…

Bishop’s Stortford Independent: Stars of the 80s come out for summer concert at Audley End: Some of the most beloved pop music icons from the 1980s will come together for an open-air concert at Audley End House & Gardens this summer. Jason Donovan, Midge Ure, Five Star, Hot Chocolate, Altered Images, T’Pau and Toyah are the magnificent seven acts that make up the bill for Here And Now – Back To The 80s on Friday, July 13 – Continue reading at Bishop’s Stortford Independent…

What’s On Darlington: PIMM Productions Showcase Evening ft. Toyah Willcox: Darlington Film Club hosts an evening showcasing short films from local award-winning film company PIMM Productions. Among the cast members in their new film is the one and only Toyah Willcox. Toyah will be joining the Q&A to discuss the film, as well as questions on her own career in film, TV and music – Continue reading at What’s On Darlington…

Music Week: The Old Grey Whistle Test – BBC4 TONIGHT!

February 23rd, 2018

ogwt18a‘It’s going to be a huge reunion’: Bob Harris reveals live line-up for Old Grey Whistle Test

BBC Music is reviving The Old Grey Whistle Test for a one-off live special at 9pm tonight (February 23) on BBC Four. The revival marks 30 years since the legendary music TV show ended – it ran from 1971 to 1988 – and former host Bob Harris will be back at the helm.

Harris presented the show with that famous “whispering” delivery from 1972-78 and his spell included UK TV firsts including the performance from Bob Marley & The Wailers. Forty-six years since he first hosted, Harris will be back for the live three-hour special, which has generated huge excitement among music fans of a certain age.

“I know, it feels very exciting at this end too – the interest has been absolutely incredible,” the Radio 2 presenter told Music Week.

• Continue reading at Music Week. NB: Toyah will feature in a live interview having just come off stage from a performance of Jubilee at Lyric Hammersmith – Further info at

Derby QUAD: Toyah @ Derby Film Festival/Paracinema 2018

February 23rd, 2018

derbyff18aOver the May Bank Holiday weekend, we launch the first edition of Paracinema, a festival dedicated to films and genres outside of the mainstream. Expect a steady diet of horror, sci-fi and fantasy but also we’ll be exploring other genres outside the mainstream with special guests, previews and talks on a whole range of unusual genres and subgenres.

Confirmed Guests and Previews

Special Guest – Toyah Willcox. We are delighted to be welcoming actress and pop star Toyah Willcox to Paracinema and Derby Film Festival on Saturday 5th May to talk about her career appearing in classics like Derek Jarman’s Jubilee, The Tempest and the mod classic Quadrophenia as well as juggling a hugely successful pop career.

• Continue reading at Derby Quad. Visit the Derby Film Festival 2018 website here.

The Stage: Mark Shenton on Jubilee

February 23rd, 2018

stage18aMark Shenton: How do audiences and critics react when a show is designed to provoke them?

At the start of the second act of Jubilee, the stage version of Derek Jarman’s 1978 film that has transferred from Manchester’s Royal Exchange to the Lyric Hammersmith, one of the performers surveys the audience and notes that there have obviously been some early departures.

I was very nearly one of them. I decided that I would spare myself – and the show – the need to write a review (because it is of course a total no-no to do so after only seeing half a production). But, after leaving the theatre in the interval to get a little bit of sugar comfort, I went back.

After the show, I tweeted what a bad time I’d had, and my colleague Lyn Gardner replied: “Oh narrowly missed out on being in my top ten shows last year. I loved it.”

When I searched out her original review of that run, I found she cautioned: “Don’t think of leaving at the interval: the first half may drag a little, but the payoff is delivered in the show’s final 50 minutes, in which fierce energy gives way to aching loss as a generation with no future searches for a phoenix in the ashes.”

• Continue reading at The Stage.

British Theatre Guide: Jubilee Review, Lyric Hammersmith

February 22nd, 2018

jubilee18jThe late Derek Jarman had a reputation as an iconic but iconoclastic filmmaker but, even by his standards, Jubilee was eccentric and frequently any meanings were too deeply buried for common or garden viewers to mine. It is now probably best remembered for a cast that included punk idols Toyah Willcox and Adam Ant, along with a dedicated team from the acting profession amongst whom was the late Ian Charleson.

40 years on, Chris Goode has taken the original film script, which Jarman wrote with James Whaley, and updated it for a fresh generation. Give the new writer-director credit, what should have been an unintelligible, unruly mess is always over the top, frequently rather fun and conveys some timely messages to its audience today.

Many of those present will not even have been born in the days when punk threatened to change British society forever. Like Queen Elizabeth, whose pontifications along with those of her alchemist and necromancer John Dee and ethereal Ariel frame the modern scenes, it is merely a short historical note that may well have passed them by.

In a happy connection with the original, punk Queen Toyah Willcox embodies the Virgin Queen having played Mad on celluloid so long ago. She also provides one of the evening’s highlights with a brief but lively rendition of “I Want to Be Free”.

• Continue reading at British Theatre Guide. Review by Philip Fisher.

Time Out: Jubilee Review, Lyric Hammersmith

February 22nd, 2018

timeout16aA fiercely powerful staging of Derek Jarman’s punk classic

People have been pontificating on what punk is – if it’s sold out, if it’s dead – pretty much since it showed up. So I’m not going to join them. Except to say that if anyone’s keeping the ripped Union Jack flag flying, it’s got to be queer people of colour who are risking everything to live outside the rules of a heteronormative, post-Brexit society. Chris Goode’s play, transferring to Lyric Hammersmith after opening at Royal Exchange Manchester, gets this. He reimagines Derek Jarman’s 1978 punk cult movie ‘Jubilee’ just enough to make it speak to today, but leaves its wild nihilist momentum intact.

It’s set in a squat (although this being 2018, it’s probably a warehouse share) where the cast bicker, wheel a pram on fire around, violently demolish the patriarchy, rewrite history, and watch YouTube videos. Travis Alabanza (playing Amyl Nitrate, the group’s historian) brings us up to speed on this show’s world, and pretty much anticipates every possible criticism of it: ‘Welcome to ‘Jubilee’. An iconic film most of you have never even heard of, adapted by an Oxbridge twat for a dying medium, spoiled by millennials, ruined by diversity, and constantly threatening to go all interactive. You poor fuckers.’

• Continue reading at Time Out. Review by Alice Saville.

Another Man: Jubilee Turns 40

February 22nd, 2018

How Jubilee Became the Greatest Punk Film of All Time

Today, Derek Jarman’s punk classic turns 40 – to celebrate, we track its journey from notoriety to immortality

“Punks were in the audience screaming ‘THIS AIN’T PUNK!’ and ‘WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS!’ and ‘SHIT!’” That’s how Jayne County recalled the raucous atmosphere at the premiere of Jubilee, Derek Jarman’s dark sci-fi reckoning with a dystopian England, in an interview from 2011.


County, a veteran of the New York punk scene who cameos in the film, was no more charitable in his own assessment of Jarman’s vision, released in cinemas 40 years ago this month. “Wasted celluloid”, she called it – though the scene she starred in wasn’t half bad, naturally.

• Continue reading at Another Man.

The Independent: Jubilee Review, Lyric Hammersmith

February 22nd, 2018

independent15aJubilee, Lyric, Hammersmith, London, review: In the Lyric Hammersmith’s fine tradition of reanimating controversial classics

Chris Goode’s stage adaptation of Derek Jarman’s 1977 punk classic ‘Jubilee’, recasts Toyah Willcox who played Mad in the film, as Queen Elizabeth I, who time-travels to today

“It’s funny, isn’t it?” says Amyl Nitrate, towards the end of the end of Chris Goode’s raucous, shrewd and free-wheelingly rude re-imagining of Derek Jarman’s cult movie.  “In 1977, someone shouting “NO FUTURE” sounded like the most extreme nihilistic punk.  Forty years on, it’s a fact.  It’s mainstream climate science.”  To mark the ruby jubilee of Jubilee (1978), Goode’s stage version — a co-production between his company, the Lyric, Hammersmith and Manchester’s Royal Exchange — does more than pay tribute to the inherent theatricality in Jarman’s apocalyptic vision or recreate the paradoxical ethos of a broken Britain sodden with royalist propaganda during that flag-waving year.

• Continue reading at The Independent. Review by Paul Taylor.

GScene: Jubilee Review, Lyric Hammersmith

February 22nd, 2018

gscene18aChris Goode’s adaptation of Derek Jarman and James Whaley’s Jubilee was a ravenously sex-fueled and unvarnished representation of the state that the world is in.

It assures to have one question if royalty or religion are still relevant in an ever-changing society.

Toyah Willcox goes from rebel to regal as she makes a comeback having played Mad in the original movie and now bringing delightful grace to the stage as Elizabeth I. Unsurprisingly she owns every second of her role as an onlooker from the past. Jubilee’s blatant dialogue and minimal use of symbolism makes for a refreshing take on what are usually controversial topics. It is explicit beginning to end and makes no apologies for it.

• Continue reading at GScene. Review by Tin Nguyen.

Broadway World: Jubilee Review, Lyric Hammersmith

February 22nd, 2018

jubilee18hCheck out Broadway World’s five star review of Jubilee at the Lyric Hammersmith – “Sexy, riotous, celebratory and a bloody good night out“.

Jubilee is an event that fucks with every theatrical convention, but it also provokes its audience in the most important way. Derek Jarman’s iconic film has been adapted for the stage by Chris Goode, centring around a marauding girl gang on a killing spree and a time-travelling Queen Elizabeth I – telling a story of what happens when creativity and nihilism collide.

The company hold nothing back – be it via nudity, crassness or direct address, they actively attempt to make you feel something. And I imagine you’ll feel a lot, even if it’s the sensation of being uncomfortable. Which is good; you should be.

After the interval you can tell who the non-progressive, potentially prejudicial people were in the audience. As Act Two begins many seats are now empty. People have left due to their own insecurities and biases around seeing naked flesh on stage, or as Travis Alabanza calls it, “one too many ballsacks”.

• Continue reading at Broadway World. Review by Alistair Wilkinson. (Photo © Tristram Kenton – Visit the Lyric Hammersmith’s Facebook page to see a great gallery of Tristram’s Jubilee production photos)