Come Alive For The Rock Queen
Rock is a show like no other, with a twist of
rock, a splash of musical theatre, and a generous
helping of fun. But be warned, audiences
attending the tongue-in-cheek show may find it
hard to sit still, especially when Toyah Willcox
is on stage, writes Susan Welsh
Slipping into a saucy
skin-tight red leather costume and killer heels
is one thing. Wearing the body-hugging costume
while giving your all in a high-energy musical
that requires you to sing and dance on stage is
quite another, especially when, whisper it, the
wearer turned 50 earlier this year.
At an age when some gals
have quietly begun eyeing up outfits to disguise
middle-age spread, singer and actress Toyah
Willcox is getting ready to don an outfit that
skims her body like a second skin.
Luckily, shes in
extremely good shape, as those with tickets for
Vampires Rock, a lively rollercoaster of a horror
musical which visits Inverness and Aberdeen this
month, will soon see for themselves.
Vampires Rock, a
tongue-in-cheek comedy created by Steve Steinman,
is set in New York in the year 2030, when the
rather lively undead are living among us. Steve
Steinman, with his typical sense of cheeky
humour, plays the charismatic and supremely evil
Baron Von Rockula, owner of the Live and Let Die
In search of a bride, the
Baron must convince his chosen one to agree to
eternal immortality, to be his queen and live
Enter the equally
watchable and talented Ms Willcox.
I play the devil
Queen who is married to Baron Von Rockula, a part
which men and women in the audience can relate to
as it is about the biggest cliche in history
man wants to trade in current wife for a
In this case, the
baron wants to trade in his 2,000-year-old wife,
thats me, for a newer model, said
The audience love
the story and go bonkers, but theres a
twist in the tale which allows my character to
develop throughout the show and fight to get him
We use classic rock
songs and anthems to carry the story right the
way through the show with numbers by Bon Jovi,
Alice Cooper, White Snake, Cher, Rolling Stones,
Billy Idol the list goes on and on.
One of the reasons
people love the show, especially those who are
into rock music, is because theres a full
band on stage there are no corners cut on
Its full of
pyrotechnics, has a great stage set and fabulous
Its quite glam
rock, too, and harks back to the 1970s when you
had the likes of Roxy Music, David Bowie, T Rex
and Alice Cooper all donning eye liner and
wearing high heels.
My costume is very
much part of that era and it slots in
Which brings us rather
neatly to that showstopping costume. How does she
manage to stay slim enough to fit into it?
Im on stage
with four of the most beautiful dancers Ive
ever worked with and theyre all well under
That makes you work
hard but, to be honest, I cant eat very
much while Im rehearsing and have to do
about 200 sit-ups a day, which at times is
miserable, said the star, who has an
impressive 32 years under her showbiz belt.
Despite constant demands
on her time she has a new album out and
tours regularly with her band, shes a TV
favourite guesting on everything from Tonight
with Trevor Macdonald to Im a Celebrity . .
. Get Me Out of Here! Toyah was keen to
get back to live theatre.
Vampires Rock has
been around for about five years and in all that
time Ive never heard anything but good of
it, she said.
Where it is
exceptional, purely on a business level, is that
it sells out almost everywhere, yet it is a
relatively brand-new, untold story.
Steve Steinman, who
created it, has been asking me for two years to
come on board. This is the year I said yes, and
already it seems that the show and me are made
for each other.
While Toyah always goes
down a storm when she plays live, its in
front of the camera that she feels right at home.
I have tackled
music, film, television, theatre, plays, reality
shows, but I think now is a very interesting time
in terms of media, because no one knows where
anything is going, but the one constant is that
people want live shows and, luckily for me, thats
what I do.
Recently, Toyah played
Billie Pipers mother in the TV show Diary
of a Call Girl, and next year shes set to
film a British movie called The Power of Three.
One movie she will always
be linked to is the cult 1979 movie Quadrophenia,
which tells the story of two rival gangs of 1960s
mods and rockers and set to the music of The Who.
Im really glad
I took part in the film, not just because I got
to work with Sting and Phil Daniels, but because
it was quite an experience just filming it.
We could never have
guessed at the longevity the film would enjoy,
and its great to see generation after
generation discovering the film and identifying
Aberdeen Press &