Ice say! It's Panto time again

As the sun shines down on South Yorkshire, it seems a world away from the season of Christmas Panto

But as is traditional these days, the stars came out in style as the cast of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs launched Sheffield Lyceum's 2010 offering.

The ever popular Damian Williams stars as Nurse Nellie, Toyah Willcox plays the Wicked Witch and comedian and radio Sheffield presenter Toby Foster is making his first steps into the world of panto as the Dame's son Muddles, who gets everything wrong.

I caught up with Toby and Toyah after they posed for the customary promotional snaps.

Said Toby: "I came to see Aladdin last year with my kids. I saw Damian playing the dame and he was so good at it, I decided I would like to have a go! There is nothing finer than making a lot of kids laugh at Christmas. I cannot think of a higher calling.

Snow White It is a bit odd to be working with Toyah – when I was 14, she was the gorgeous girl at the top of the charts – and she is still gorgeous".

Toyah has been no stranger to controversy during her 30 year career, which has seen her top the charts with arty-punk hits like It's a Mystery, star in iconic films like Quadrophenia – and latterly bare her life in reality TV shows. She is also now something of a veteran in the panto world.

She said: "I have played the Witch Queen about six times and I love it. I do like to make the audience hate me."

Toyah is keeping busy in a similar gothic way with a 50-date tour of the Rocky-Horror style Vampires Rock as well as touring with her own arthouse band The Humans.

"I have always Iiked to push the boundaries in different ways – and now I am in my 50s I can get away with it. Every new birthday I am told I am too old but every decade there are new challenges.

"I love doing things which take people by surprise."

South Yorkshire Times
June 2009