Willcox a busy woman? Does Michelle Obama love a
cardigan? The pop star/actress/writer/performer
never seems to stop.
Twenty albums, 40 singles, movies, musicals,
pantomime, Shakespeare, Songs of Praise; just
reading about it is enough to make the rest of us
feel like idle, useless slugs.
Ive been in the business for 32 years
so Ive managed to cram a lot in, she
And cram it she has. Since her first appearance
all those years ago in Jubilee, Derek Jarmans
chronicle of everyday punk folk (via the days of
Elizabeth I to London in the 1970s... hmmm...)
Toyah has enjoyed a diverse and fast-flowing
career, as well as becoming one of those
celebrities about whom few have a bad word to
People think they know me which is
absolutely fine, she says. People are
very friendly and I dont think Ive
ever done anything which is questionable, or
wildly offensive. I think people feel familiar
with me. Its very rewarding.
We are familiar with her appearance on everything
from Im A Celebrity, through to her
blockbusting album, Anthem, her appearance in
Quadrophenia and her happy marriage to Wimborne
boy and King Crimson legend Robert Fripp. If we
go along to the Pav-ilion next month we can
become familiar with her all over again as the
Devil Queen in the rock musical Vampires Rock.
Toyah loves it. The musical has been going for
around five years and is already a cult, she
explains. This is partly due to its exuberant
costumes and staging but also because of the
music banging favourites from the likes of
Queen, Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi and Suzi Quattro.
I love the music, its a great show,
doesnt cut any corners, it has wonderful
production values and is very visually exciting,
she enthuses. I took Vampires Rock because
it allowed me to slot my imagery into the show. I
just brought in all my own costumes; 10 inch
shoes, that kind of thing.
Images of Toyahs outfits include one of her
dressed in spray-on red devil costume for her
role as the Devil Queen. When you make your
entrance in that outfit, the audience rise to
their feet, she says.
Toyahs enthusiasm is infectious and she is
a breath of fresh air in this ageist world.
Ive never made any secret of my age,
Im 51, she declares. Likewise, shes
never made any secret of the fact that she had a
facelift a few years back. I didnt
want to look tired, was her explanation.
Im one of these people who thinks
that every decade adds a new dimension to your
career, rather than takes it away, and I think
that attitude helps a lot.
She believes that as they get older, people get
richer as characters so: I always look on
it as a door that opens. Because of that I think
Im always good at phoning up people saying
why dont we do this or that, rather than
thinking; oh my god, its the end of the
world, which it isnt and it never is.
She believes you have to fight negative
attitudes. You have to look at what youve
got, not at what you dont have. Theres
an awful lot of people out there in their 50s who
want to know that life is still for living and
sometimes think its people like me who have
to kind of say that, or prove it through our
work. So Im quite happy to do that.
Toyah feels there is plenty for her left to do.
Everything presents a new challenge and new
ideas come in because of that. For
instance, shed love to do more costume
drama and you can just picture her in a big BBC
adaption of Dickens. But her favourite thing is
I always love the writing process and being
in the studio. I love it because its
really, really private, its something you
do before it goes to the public.
The only thing she wouldnt enjoy, she says,
is not being busy. Not much chance of that.
Bournemouth Daily Echo