Bringing her Wicked Side To Calderdale
original red-haired rebel is coming to town as
the evil Devil Queen in a vampire spectacular.
But she has many other irons in the fire, as
Pauline Hawkins finds out
Rockers, like vampires,
never die... they simply stake a claim to your
heart by belting out timeless tunes that live on
forever in the memory.
Red-haired rebel Toyah
Willcox is currently spending her evenings with
the undead as a cadaverous cast and mystical
musicians blast their way through some of the
greatest rock anthems ever written and performed.
Tracks from Meat Loaf,
Rainbow, AC/DC, Alice Cooper, the Rolling Stones,
Bon Jovi, Queen, Whitesnake, Bonnie Tyler and
Cher are given fresh life as Vampires Rock
prepares to bring pulsating sounds and
pyrotechnics to the Victoria Theatre, Halifax.
Toyah, who turned 50 this
year, shows no sign of ageing thanks in
part to a facelift five years ago as she
dons a figure-hugging red outfit and headgear
shaped like ram's horns to star in Vampires Rock
as the Devil Queen, wife of the supremely evil
Baron Von Rockula.
The role is light years
from some of her previous incarnations in the
1990s as the narrator of the BBC children's show
Teletubbies and a presenter of Songs of Praise
But, as she points out,
these appearances were more than 10 years ago.
And she currently has a workload that would
terrify most actresses half her age.
The Vampires Rock tour
began in Retford, Nottinghamshire, in
mid-September and finishes in London next
February. But there will be time for her to enjoy
Christmas and set about other projects, including
the third series of Secret Diary of a Call Girl,
starring Billie Piper, which is due to be filmed
in the spring.
The musical comedy
Vampires Rock is set in the future in New York,
when the undead are livelier than ever and the
charismatic and supremely evil Baron Von Rockula,
owner of the Live and Let Die Club, is seeking a
woman to agree to eternal immortality, be his
queen and live forever.
The baron is played by
Steve Steinman, who made his name as a Meat Loaf
tribute act. The evil baron is looking to
"trade in" Toyah's Devil Queen for
"What I like about
this show is that it is not every night, the
dates are in batches," she says. "I am
doing a lot of TV at the moment and I have an
album in the iTunes chart and I'm preparing that
for commercial release next Easter.
Supersize Me and Ready, Steady Cook at the
moment, so it's quite mad.
"Originally I told
Steve that I could fit in 20 dates and he said 44
theatres wanted the show. So I'm with film crews
in the morning and as long as I'm at the theatre
by 4pm, that's all that bothers him.
"I think Steve
started the show in smaller venues but it has
become so successful that he is booking larger
and larger venues. We are going back to some
places Hull sold out immedaiately so we're
going back for a second date.
"I open with one of
my new songs, Lesser God, and the show is really
about establishing the story through the lyrics
of major rock anthems. The story is very light,
but it's very loud rock and amazing pyrotechnics.
"People who have not
seen the show before and don't know what it is
are stunned. It's a very accomplished rock show.
The band are phenomenal.
"It lacks the pomp of
West End shows and is very inclusive of the
audience. It's very lively, high-energy music and
I get to play the baddie, which is a lot of fun.
It is beautifully visual. I think people have
been blown away by it."