Wicked! - Boo! Hiss! Toyah's in Town!

Get ready to boo and hiss - Toyah Willcox is coming to Sheffield to play panto's evil queen. It's going to be .... wicked!

Rock star, style icon, actress and vocal talent – Toyah Willcox has demonstrated her versatility to great effect over the past few years. And in her latest role, as the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, the former chart-topper is in her element.

Toyah is now a panto veteran, having been performing in them for 17 years – her first was Peter Pan. As an accomplished actress with film, stage and television credits behind her, Toyah loves the fact that panto gives her a chance to reach out to a new audience and help them to discover the joy of live performance.

She said: “Panto is wonderful and very British. I love the genre because there is so much history and culture around it.

“For many children it is the first time they have been exposed to live theatre, and we can transport them away to another place for a few hours and hopefully encourage them to want to see more.

“I love the audience participation part of the show, especially as I’m playing the wicked witch. All the booing and hissing is terrific fun.”

Playing the character seven days a week with two shows on some days is demanding, but Toyah is one busy lady. She has also found the time to release a new Humans album and fit in some TV work abroad.

Toyah said: “I like to keep busy. The panto is very demanding and doing the shows keeps you fit. I have to protect my voice, though, and I try to avoid talking too much between shows!

“I still love performing live and it’s great that the audience is still there. The Rewind Festival is great fun as I’m getting a chance to meet all the other stars who had hits in the 80s – we were all so busy in those days I never got to meet any of them!"

Toyah said: “Everyone who I’ve worked with over the years in panto always gives a 100 per cent – you can’t give it any less.”

Your Sheffield
November 2009