eight Top 40 singles, 20 albums, ten feature
films, hundreds of television shows and countless
stage roles, Toyah Willcox is joining the British
tour of Steve Steinmans Vampires Rock in
the special guest role of the Devil Queen.
On Thursday, she returns
to York, where previously she played Kate in
Shakespeares The Taming Of The Shrew at the
Theatre Royal in August 1990, Peter Pan at the
Grand Opera House in February 1994 (a year when
she also performed at Fibbers), and the title
role in Calamity Jane in October 2002, again at
the Grand Opera House.
She has been a punk, she
has played Puck, she has presented Songs Of
Praise and written a book about having a
facelift. Now, at 50, she is starring in a
musical spoof cum fantasy concert set in the year
2030 in a New York City where the undead are
among us and livelier than ever, especially Steve
Steinmans evil, club-owning, 2,000-year-old
Baron Von Rockula. Cue music from Meat Loaf,
Queen, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones and Guns N
Roses, and Toyah in hot red.
Charles Hutchinson meets
the new devil woman ahead of next weeks
Toyah, what possessed
you to turn evil for a 44-date tour of Vampires
trying to get me into the show for a couple of
years, but I just felt I couldnt give the
time to it at the time.
But Steve works like
no one else and the important thing about him is
thats hes a successful independent
producer, and he kept asking, and eventually I
said I could do 20 dates and he came back
with a list of 44! I said, Okay, okay, Ill
do 44, and Im glad I did because,
excuse the pun, its an absolute
My husband [Robert
Fripp] saw the show and said this band could blow
him off stage, and hes one of the top ten
guitarists in the world.
Why has Vampires Rock
become such a hit?
It seems a
ridiculously slight show but it works because it
is so clever in that its a basic story that
we all know so well, as Baron Von Rockula wants
to get rid of his 2,000-year-old wife for a
incredible warmth from the audience because theres
this fine balance between parody and reverence,
and thats where its like The Rocky
Horror Show: they came long and theyre half
character, the Devil Queen.
Shes vile! Shes
just pure evil. Shes very glamorous and,
for me, shes the true vampire in the show
because she never eases up, whereas Steve is very
funny in how he works his character. Mine is just
death, death, death, and shes horrible to
How does this show
compare with others you have appeared in?
This is the most
bizarre thing Ive ever done. I hadnt
seen the show before I agreed to do it, but I did
know it had a cult status and it has far more
credibility than any other show like this.
I think what Steve
has now done is create a star product where a
star name can come in, like with The Rocky Horror
Show. This show is the future of rocknroll,
creating conceptual shows such as Mamma Mia!. It
keeps rocknroll going in a new way.
Did you choose your
red-hot latex costumes for the show?
In the past 12
months, in the lead-up to my new album In The
Court Of The Crimson Queen and the single Latex
Messiah, Ive been creating Toyah TV on
MySpace which has already had 35,000 hits
and Steve [Steinman] saw all the costumes
Id created for Toyah TV and said, Could
we lift them into Vampires Rock?. So we
What songs do you sing
in Vampires Rock? Do any of your old hits sneak
I open with a song
off my new album, Lesser God, then I go into
Twisted Sisters Burn In Hell
Out, Rebel Yell, Kisss God Gave RocknRoll
To You, Bon Jovis Lay Your Hands On Me, the
Osbournes Changes, and Guns N Roses
Sweet Child OMine. Fantastic!
What happens next for
you and Vampires Rock?
We go into the West
End for a week from February 28, in the Shaw
Theatre, and thats already been a success
because we have backers coming that week with a
view to taking the show to Las Vegas.
Then we come back to
Retford [where the shows rehearsals are
held] next September to start another 44 shows,
and we have TV companies lining up to do a
documentary if the show goes to Vegas.
The York Press