Toyah's Panto Agony
Willcox has revealed starring in Sheffield's
panto, Snow White And The Seven Dwarves, will
help her get through the toughest Christmas of
her life after losing her father. The iconic
singer and actress is facing her first festive
season since her dad died and says she is
grateful to be playing the Wicked Queen at The
Lyceum Theatre to distract her.
"It's my first Christmas without my father
which is a big hurdle," she confirmed during
final rehearsals for the show, which opens today.
"It's been a very poignant year and this
Christmas will be tough but I'm actually counting
my blessings that I have the pantomime because if
I hadn't it would be harder."
Toyah, who first made her name in the 1980s with
hits such as It's A Mystery, joins a cast that
includes Sheffield comedian and radio presenter
Toby Foster and one of the UK's best dames,
And she said she is loving spending time in the
"In Sheffield, which is one of these
remarkable, versatile, quickly-changing cities,
full of energy, I don't get up in the morning and
think, 'Oh God, I've got to go to work'.
"It's 'Wow, I wonder who I'm going to see
arriving at the Academy or City Hall this
morning'. You see everything going on
everyone is part of the life of this city."
She described her accommodation, overlooking the
City Hall stage door, as "like having a
front seat to OK magazine every night, especially
when there is more than one artist on the bill...
the squabbles for the best limo, the deafening
silence when fans haven't been waiting at stage
door, and the roar of the crowd when there are
adoring fans waiting out in the winter
Toyah has just completed a run as the Devil Queen
in the musical Vampires Rock another role
in which she gets to be evil.
"I'm not complaining," she says.
"Partly it's age. This is an actress
complaint; women get into their 30s and they're
only ever cast as housewives having mental
breakdowns or abusers to their children.
"So it's a common theme the older
woman is the wicked stepmother. But I have no
problem with that because I love playing it.
"I also think it's a wonderful form of
therapy because I can get rid of my demons
through my characters.
"I have no intention of playing a goody
unless they pay me a lot of money. They really
are dull and I don't do it convincingly."
Although still performing music, not least with
her band The Humans, Toyah has perhaps become
better known for her acting. She has featured in
10 feature films and appeared in more than 30
stage plays, as well as writing two best-selling