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Dreamscape Advent Calendar 2018: Day 12

December 12th, 2018

christmas2018dChristmas 2002, Toyah was the cover star of Festival City Theatres brochure, in anticipation of Calamity Jane playing at The Festival Theatre in Edinburgh in January 2003.

Calamity Jane was a great success for Toyah in the early 2000s. The musical toured the UK from September to November 2002, and January to June 2003 (with a break in late April/early May for Toyah’s stint in the second series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!), then transferred to London West End’s Shaftsebury Theatre from June to September of 2003. There was speculation that Toyah would reprise her role as Jane for a further tour but this never happened.

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Calamity Jane: Going Great Guns 15 Summers Ago!

July 25th, 2018

15 years ago, Summer 2003, Toyah was “going great guns” starring as the lead in Calamity Jane at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End. The musical had spent a year touring the UK playing at numerous theatres around the country, again with Toyah playing Jane, and received many positive reviews along the way. There was a lot of press, below is just a few articles from various newspapers. Click on the collage to visit Dreamscape’s mini Calamity Jane website.

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Jubilee: “An Astonishing Last Show”

March 12th, 2018

Jubilee is a wrap. Thanks to the entire team & all our audiences x“, Toyah tweeted. She also Instagrammed: “Goodnight LIZZIE. What an astonishing last show. Thank u all. It has been a privilege“. (Photo © Official Toyah)

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• Browse a summary of many of the reviews for Jubilee at the Lyric at toyahwillcox.com. See all of Dreamscape’s London news on Jubilee here and the Manchester production here.

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…

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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…

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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…

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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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Jubilee: Four From Queen Elizabeth I

February 23rd, 2018

Amazing photos of Toyah as Queen Elizabeth I in Jubilee at the Lyric Hammersmith. View a gallery of shots, including larger versions of the four below, at the Lyric’s Facebook page. (Photos © Tristram Kenton)

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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.

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)

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The Stage: This Week’s Best Theatre Shows

February 22nd, 2018

stage16aThis week’s best theatre shows: Our critics’ picks (February 20)

Jubilee – Lyric Hammersmith, London

Chris Goode directs and adapts a stage version of Derek Jarman and James Whaley’s 1978 film Jubilee, in a production first seen at Manchester’s Royal Exchange last November. The Stage called it “scrappy and self-aware”, but veteran punk star Toyah Willcox, who also appeared in the original film, makes it interesting to see again. It opens officially on February 20.

• Continue reading at The Stage.

Jubilee @ Lyric Hammersmith: Newsy Bits!

February 22nd, 2018

jubilee18iThe Independent: Why The Sudden Rash Of Movies Onstage Now?: And it’s not just van Hove; theatre has been experiencing a boomlet of movie adaptations. Derek Jarman’s punk-inflected Jubilee (1978), adapted by Chris Goode, opens at the Lyric Theatre after earning rave reviews at the Royal Exchange in Manchester – Continue reading at The Independent…

London Evening Standard: Things to do in London this weekend (and next week too): 3. Anarchy in the UK: Jubilee – Derek Jarman’s 1978 state-of-the-nation punk film has been adapted for the stage by Chris Goode – Continue reading at the London Evening Standard…

London Evening Standard: London Arts: The best art, theatre, dance and concerts to see this week: Jubilee – Embrace the spirit of punk this week as the Lyric heads back to 1977 for a stage adaptation of Derek Jarman’s cult classic film. Expect a time-travelling Queen Elizabeth I, DIY fashion, sex, swearing, and a very loud soundtrack – Continue reading at the London Evening Standard…

London Theatreland: Jubilee, Lyric Hammersmith: “An explosive, no-holds-barred punk musical that’ll set your world on fire!” – Capturing the punk wave at its dizzying height, English film director Derek Jarman captured the spirit of the rebellious era of the late 70s. Now his seminal work is once again sticking two fingers up… – Continue reading at London Theatreland…

Jubilee @ Lyric Hammersmith: Newsy Bits & Pieces!

February 16th, 2018

jubilee18fQueen Elizabeth I is now in residence at the Lyric Hammersmith, London – Jubilee previews began last night. The, already sold out, Press Performance takes place next Tuesday (20th February)…

Lyric Hammersmith: First preview of Jubilee DONE! – Continue reading…

Hammersmith London: Catch stage adaptation of Derek Jarman’s film #Jubilee at @LyricHammer until 10 March! https://lyric.co.uk/shows/jubilee . With @toyahofficial @travisalabanza – Continue reading…

Toyah Willcox Instagram: Jubilee the stage adaptation of the iconic 1978 Derek Jarman film opens tonight Thu 15 Mar at Lyric Hammersmith, London | Whereas Toyah played Mad in the original film, she now takes the role of the time travelling Queen Elizabeth 1st. #Toyah60 – Continue reading… (Image © Official Toyah)

Broadway World: Long Day’s Journey Into The Night Leads February’s Top 10 New London Shows: 3. Jubilee, Lyric Hammersmith – Derek Jarman’s seminal 1970s punk film – featuring a marauding girl gang, time-travelling Elizabeth I and anarchic culture wars – comes to stage in an intriguing new Chris Goode adaptation. Promising a soundtrack “to die (horribly) for”, it also has a cast led by original film cast member Toyah Willcox – Continue reading…

Lyric Hammersmith: The Royal Box is occupied. The Queen hath arrived. Toyah is getting acquainted with our theatre during Jubilee tech – Continue reading… (Photo © Lyric Hammersmith)

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Toyah Willcox Twitter: “Lizzie wants you to be her valentine” – Continue reading…

Playbill: Schedule of Upcoming London Shows: Derek Jarman’s iconic film captured punk at its giddy height: a riot of music, DIY fashion, and every kind of sex – with a little pyromania thrown in. Now, forty years on, this new stage adaptation of Jubilee remixes it for the social and political turmoil of 2017. Centred around a marauding girl gang on a killing spree and a time-travelling Queen Elizabeth I, it’s a story of what happens when creativity and nihilism collide – Continue reading…

The Official Toyah Willcox Website: Stage Adaptation of Jubilee Opens in London 15 Feb: Derek Jarman’s anarchic punk film Jubilee has been adapted for the stage with a cast including Toyah Willcox – Continue reading…

Toyah Willcox Twitter: “Hello Queenie my old friend, glad 2 b u again” – Continue reading…

Jubilee @ the Lyric Hammersmith: 15th February – 10th March 2018 – Book Now

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Toyah Willcox Instagram: “First night” – Continue reading…

Jubilee Playlist: “Turn it up loud and release that inner punk” – Listen @ Spotify… (account required)

Jubilee (London) @ Dreamscape: Browse our news, so far, on Jubilee at the Lyric Hammersmith – Continue reading…

Jubilee (Manchester) @ Dreamscape: Browse our news archive on Jubilee at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester - Continue reading…

The Guardian: Culture Highlights Of The Week

February 15th, 2018

guardian18bWhat to see this week in the UK: Five of the best … theatre shows

Jubilee – Chris Goode’s stage version of Derek Jarman’s classic punk-era film stars Toyah Willcox, who played Mad in the original, as Elizabeth I. It is wildly entertaining, billing itself with a knowing leer as “an iconic film most of you have never heard of, adapted by an Oxbridge twat for a dying medium, spoiled by millennials, ruined by diversity, and constantly threatening to go interactive”. Not for the faint-hearted; definitely for the big of heart.

Lyric Hammersmith, W6, Thursday 15 February to 10 March

• Continue reading at The Guardian.

NY Times: Coming Soon To A Stage Near You

February 15th, 2018

nytimes18aDerek Jarman’s punk-inflected “Jubilee” (1978), adapted by Chris Goode, opens at the Lyric Theater here on Thursday after earning rave reviews at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

• Continue reading at The New York Times.

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.

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.

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.