such a devil of a job says 50-something Toyah
career spanning 30 years, Toyah knows a thing or
two about the glamour of showbiz. She talks to
Zita Collinson about vamping it up for her latest
role as the Devil Queen.
Willcox isn't exactly what you might call the shy
and retiring type.
as well, because for her latest role, as the
villainous Devil Queen in Steve Steinman's
musical, Vampires Rock, it's PVC all the way.
have fabulous costumes," says the
51-year-old. "It allows me to dress totally
inappropriately for my age. I've got some really
out-there, very revealing designs to wear. My
opening number is completely silver and
reflective from head to toe.
tends to be a lot of PVC, a lot of jewellery and
very high heels, but really taking it to the far
end of the spectrum."
return to the show, a Rocky-Horror-esque homage
to the music of AC/DC, Meatloaf and Queen among
others, follows the production's sell-out tour of
theatres last year.
cast all have to wear fangs," she continues.
"We've all been to the dentist and we've all
been fitted with our vampire teeth. It kind of
adds to my lisp.
have to sing in them, and eat and drink in them.
I tend to forget they're in. I've even driven
home with them in and when you go and get petrol
you forget. I've walked into petrol stations off
the M1 and I've just been stared at.
stand in the wings and I watch the whole thing
and I enjoy it from beginning to end every
night," she confesses.
a good sign. It's got its own originality to it
and it's really good fun. There's a lot of comedy
in it. Every night is exciting and it's never the
same. About 60 per cent of the audience are
dressed as vampires or Goths. The whole evening
is kind of an event."
some 55 dates ahead of her, she and her fellow
Vampires Rock cast members are faced with a
gruelling schedule. Not that Toyah will take it
easy during what little downtime she has.
off to Sheffield to star in panto over Christmas
while the Vampires Rock tour takes a
festive break and has filmed an episode of
Casualty to be screened next month. She is also
about to start promoting a new film, Three To
Tango, for which she has written the music.
career is certainly diverse. The Birmingham-born
star came to the public's attention playing
Monkey in Quadrophenia in 1979, going on to have
chart success with It's A Mystery and I Want To
Be Free in the early 1980s. Since then she's
appeared on numerous TV programmes from Songs Of
Praise to the Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. And
then of course, as any parent of an under-five
knows, there's her voiceover work for Teletubbies
and Brum. So what's the secret of her long
a lot going on at the moment," she says.
"Do it while you can, that's my motto. I'm
so grateful for the 1980s revival. Whether I like
it or not, I'm really, really grateful for it.
don't know why I've had such a long career. It's
an interesting one because sometimes you
genuinely feel as though you'll never work again.
think being glamorous and visual helps, Madonna
has proven you can do it through many decades,
but some women find that hard. For Madonna that's
a 24-hour job. It must be endless. I'm the same
age as her and I know the work you have to put in
just to keep your weight under control.
live in the moment. I don't live in the past. I'm
very proud to be starring in Three To Tango at
the age of 51, which I think is a statement in
itself. It says to other women that life goes