Vampires Rock is coming to Weston, the town which for the stars of the show - Toyah Willcox and Steve Steinman - holds some very special memories. 

Toyah Willcox has been gracing our screens and airwaves ever since she appeared in Derek Jarman's 1977 film Jubilee and 1979's Who album-inspired Quadrophenia.

But now, after achieving numerous chart-topping hits and an appearance on I'm A Celebrity, Toyah is back treading the boards in the musical Vampires Rock.

Here she plays the Devil Queen, the 2,000-year-old long suffering wife of Baron Von Rockula (played by Steve Steinman).

"He wants to get rid of me so the evening is spent trying to get rid of me and persuading a young, much more beautiful woman [to marry him]," said Toyah.

The new bride in question is an innocent, aspiring singer, Pandora (Emily Clark). Cue a host of classic rock, played live by the Baron’s hand picked band, The Lost Boys, and a hint of comedy, as the Baron and his sidekick, Stringfellow (Mike Taylor) attempt to convince Pandora to lose her soul to rock and roll.

The musical features many classic rock songs, some of which appear on Toyah's new album.

"The whole of Vampires Rock is about classic rock anthems. It’s hit after hit after hit and we let the anthems tell the story," said Toyah.

"It is dramatic, but it is also spinal tap with teeth and it is very, very funny. The audience are in for a good laugh and I think the reason why it is so funny is because we’re all relatively good at what we do and Steve’s a comedian at heart. It is dramatic and it is visually inspiring. There’s no corners cut whatsoever, you’ve got your pyrotechnics and stage set, fabulous costumes... so it’s quite an eye-opener."

It was written by Steve, who is well known for his abilities to rock-out as he appeared on Stars In Their Eyes as Meatloaf and he is working on a stage show based on his idol.

So as he stepped through the famous smoke-filled entrance, did he think, in years to come, that Meatloaf would still play a big part of his life?

"Did I ‘eck. When I did that I was actually running a hotel and restaurant, that was my business, I think I must have been 20, 21. And I did it, and I was a proper contestant and I had a business and three or four years later I started singing professionally," he said.

Pier showgirl
November 6th won't be the first time the pair have been to Weston. Steve used to ride motorbikes along the beach when he was younger while for Toyah, it could be said that without Weston, she would not exist.

"My mother was a dancer on the pier at Weston and my father saw her on stage there and pursued her around the country so my life, you could say, started in Weston and they visit Weston-super-Mare every month to have fish and chips."

So what do they think of the now fire-ravaged pier?

"It's awful isn't it. It's just the history in these piers. I was watching a programme about how many piers have burnt down across the country and really they need to be brought back," said Toyah.

"They’ve got to come back because culturally Britain does piers beautifully and they’re Edwardian / Victorian structures and I think it would be sad if all of them became ultra modern. I think there is something quintessentially family about the sea and seeing the pier."

BBC Somerset
October 2008