catches up with Eighties punk princess Toyah
Willcox as she gets her (sharp) teeth into her
Willcox has never been afraid to do and say
exactly as she pleases, and, now shes
turned 50, the former high priestess of punk
doesnt show any signs of changing.
love wearing the very dramatic, tight, glam rock
costumes and devils horns. Its not
the easiest thing speaking and singing with
vampire teeth, but they are quite sexy.
Im not interviewing Toyah about her unusual
fetishes, but about her role in the cult musical
by rocks legendary guitarists Brian May
(Queen), Paul Crook (Meat Loaf) and Eddie Ojeda
(Twisted Sister), Vampires Rock is a production
like no other with a twist of rock, a hint of
musical theatre and the greatest rock anthems
show was written by former Meat Loaf impersonator
and star of the show Steve Steinman when he saw a
gap in the market to accommodate audiences
love for classic rock music.
was in 2004, and since then the show has been so
successful that it has toured virtually non- stop
and can boast a massive fanbase and ticket sales
of more than one million.
has a massive cult following, and that following
is getting bigger by the day, explains
love it because its such fun. The dialogue
is short and sweet so that the songs tell the
Spinal Tap with teeth, she laughs.
stars as the Devil Queen, the long- suffering
wife of Baron Von Rockula, played by Steve.
in New York in the year 2030, the undead are
livelier than ever, especially in club Live And
Let Die, where Baron Von Rockula and the Devil
baron is trying to update me his 2,000-
year-old wife for a newer model, but Im
having none of it. I would say over my dead
body, but then Im already dead, arent
new bride in question is innocent, aspiring
singer, Pandora, who stumbles across the club in
need of a job.
a host of classic rock, played live by the barons
hand-picked band, the Lost Boys, and a hint of
comedy, as the baron and his sidekick,
Stringfellow, attempt to convince Pandora to lose
her soul to rocknroll.
with Steve and Toyah, a cast of superb singers,
sexy dancers and a formidable band blast their
way through some of the greatest ever rock
anthems, including We Will Rock You, Bat Out Of
Hell, Since Youve Been Gone, Total Eclipse
Of The Heart, Sweet Child Of Mine and many more.
to this an amazing set and breathtaking
pyrotechnics, and Vampires Rock is set to thrill
audiences during its run in Bristol.
many shows trim down to go on tour, Toyah assures
me that the Bristol Hippodrome will host the
entire production, with full cast and set, so
that audiences will have the complete Vampires
one of the largest if not the largest
touring one-night shows. There are two
artic lorries involved because they are touring
full lighting, full PA, stage sets, all the
pyrotechnics... its massive.
of course, theres a full rock band on stage
as well as many dancers and actors.
I like about it is that it doesnt cut any
corners. Its a massive show, full of fire
and explosions, and its always performed at
full throttle wherever we go.
Vampires Rock, Toyah herself has always liked to
go full throttle. She is, by her own admission,
a bit of an attention-seeker and a
her 20s, Toyah was the most outrageous and most
successful punk rocker of her age, with her shock
of bright pink hair and trademark lisp.
first became well- known through her
appearancesin Derek Jarmans 1977 film
Jubilee and 1979s Who-inspired
Quadrophenia, launching her as a provocative
anti- establishment figure.
a band known as Toyah, her singing career took
off in 1981 when she scored hits with Its A
Mystery and I Want To Be Free.
continued to knock out the hits before becoming a
well-known face on stage and television,
performing Shakespeare and presenting such
diverse TV shows as Songs Of Praise and Good Sex
2003, she took time out to survive 12 long days
and nights in the Australian Jungle for the ITV
reality series Im A Celebrity Get Me Out Of
Here! After the show, Jonathan Ross commented
that she looked so awful she shouldnt be
allowed to appear on television.
of being angry, she agreed and booked herself in
for a facelift.
this business, I accept that 95 per cent of it is
about how you look, she says. Thats
just the way it is.
its down to a nip and tuck or not, Toyah
certainly seems to be in more demand than ever at
the moment. As well as the countrywide tour of
Vampires Rock, she has also just released her
latest album, In The Court Of The Crimson Queen,
is writing material for other artists and
recently appeared in the second series of TVs
Secret Diary Of A Call Girl alongside Billie
is the spice of life! she exclaims. Ive
always fought shy of ending up in just one thing
because your feet get stuck in the mud and you
get boxed in.
Rock is something completely new to me and Im
having a ball, she adds. In these
times of hardship and recession, I just think
that this show is a real cube of sugar. It
lightens peoples lives, and that is
something we all need.