Interview: Toyah Willcox in Vampires Rock

She was a poster girl for punk, then went on to dip her toe into projects as diverse as presenting Songs of Praise and the Good Sex Guide in a career spanning 30 years. Now actress and singer Toyah Willcox is vamping it up for a new role in hit musical Vampires Rock. 

Toyah Willcox is having the time of her life performing in rock 'n' roll musical extravaganza Vampires Rock. 

"Steve Steinman (the man behind the hugely successful show) had been asking me to do it for a couple of years but my filming schedule was always too tight," she said. 

"This year I said: 'OK, I'll give you 20 dates' and Steve being the absolutely brilliant businessman he is, came back with 44 dates! 

"But I'm having the time of my life. I'm loving every moment of it. There's such a buzz around the show, it's fantastic." 

Vampires Rock premiered in 2004. Rave reviews and standing ovations across Britain soon followed. 

The show, which features music from Meat Loaf, Queen, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper and Guns 'n' Roses, combines a twist of rock, vampires and comedy. 

The latest version of the show is set in 2030 New York city. Baron Von Rockula (Steinman), owner of the Live and Let Die Club, is searching for a new bride, someone he can persuade to sell her soul to rock 'n' roll. 

The reason the show is such a success, according to Toyah, is because of its unique mix of tongue-in-cheek comedy and skilled musicians. 

"The band are fantastic," she said. 

"I'm married to one of the top 10 guitarists in the world (Robert Fripp) and he says these guys can outplay him, that's how good they are. 

"The show is very clever in that it is an arena show set in a theatre. It's mind-blowing. There are pyrotechnics and it's very loud, like a rock concert. From the stage you often see the audience's jaws drop open. It's spectacular. 

"It's funny too, for the fact it's quite ridiculous at times. It's sometimes almost a parody of the songs but done in a very clever way. It doesn't try to be Les Mis. It's a powerful show for people who love rock 'n' roll. There certainly isn't a flat moment in the show." 

Steinman, who made his name as a Meatloaf tribute artist, agreed that there's no other show like it. 

"We know how to work the crowd and they keep coming back, which is the sign of success," he said. 

"The same people will come back night after night five or six times and you think 'You must be off your head' but they're enjoying it." 

And he shared the secret of his success. 

"I've stuck with the northern crowd," he said. 

"I'm from Oldham, our singer is from Blackburn and all the crew are northern. There's lots of talent in the north and, as well as producing a 100 per cent professional show, we've got a good sense of humour, which the crowd loves." 

Blackpool Citizen
November 2008