|Gloria: You've lost so much
Toyah: I've been touring
Calamity Jane for months. It's made me lean and
muscles are incredible
Toyah: I have to swing from
rafters and I'm thrown everywhere. It's good. And
that's just in my dressing room!
Gloria: It seems odd that
someone who was always very different...panto
seems to be almost tame.
Toyah: You think it's tame to
dress like a boy twice a day, go onstage and
pretend to be male, and marry a woman at the end
of the show? I think it's the best thing anyone
could ever do! I know what you're saying. I don't
think I would ever have dreamt 20 years ago that
I would have done panto. Now that I've done it
for 10 years I'm passionately in love with it.
Gloria: You've done it
consecutively for 10 years?
Toyah: I think I have. I
started off as Peter Pan, and after I got flown
into every wall of every theatre in the country
by disreputable flymen... Once in Wimbledon,
there's a scene where all four children have to
fly and we all got wrapped around each other's
wires, and we were just dangling there. The
curtain had to come down, the show stopped, and
the ladders out to get us down.
Gloria: Now, talking about the
weight loss. Toyah in the paper last week,
looking really good.
the picture in the Daily Mail.
Toyah: I think we all would if
we were hanging upside down!
Gloria: When they said 'Will
you do a picture nude for The Mail'...?
Toyah: I was drinking in a bar
and I overheard the editor of The Mail talking
about this photo session, and I said 'Can I do
it?'. I like to do things that are a challenge
and I got to the photo session and thought 'What
have I done?'. It was all men in the room and I
was really nervous. I hadn't eaten for about
three days to keep the stomach flat. We did about
20 polaroids, the photographer would let me see
what it looked like, so I trusted him. He let me
see the first polaroid and he made me look so
good. I looked better than when I was 20. So I
ripped off the gown and I said 'Come on, lets go
for it!'. He said 'Excuse me Toyah, we can't show
as much as you're showing'. I was really rather
relaxed by the time we got going.
Gloria: Were all the girls
Toyah: No. We had a closed set.
We were one after the other. I heard that Sian
Phillips was very happy about it. I think Claire
Sweeney was shocked. No one told her it was a
nude photo shoot. I tell you why I didn't mind
doing it. For the last two years I've been
studying life drawing, where you draw the naked
Gloria: Oh, that old excuse?
Toyah: I've come across every
shape and form you can find on this planet. After
two hours of drawing someone, you don't care
whether they're dressed or not. I think it helped
Gloria: Was it for charity?
Toyah: No! I wanted to do it.
It was for me! I feel that, here we are in our
Gloria: Mature? How old are
Toyah: I'm 44.
|Gloria: That's not mature, for
goodness sake! Talk to Christopher about maturity.
Toyah: Women are looking really good and
I think we have to ring our own bell and say
Gloria: So your husband, Robert
Fripp, will be getting this photograph up on the
wall, 6 by 6?
Toyah: I didn't tell him. I
told my mother and she said 'What have you done?'.
But then my husband went and bought it on
Saturday morning. He came into the bedroom very
quiet. I said 'Are you cross?' and he said 'No,
Gloria: So he will be getting
the 6 by 6 feet for Christmas?
Toyah: I'll be giving it him!
Gloria: Calamity Jane etc.
Obviously you're doing a lot of stage work. When
you're doing a musical like Calamity Jane and
then you switch into panto. It's quite a switch
Toyah: It's incredibly
different. Everything I've learnt about comic
timing I've learnt doing panto. Normally I'm a
serious actress, with Shakespeare and new plays.
I wanted to study comedy and I felt that the best
way to do it was panto. You're working with these
incredible dames and they know everything there
is to know about comedy. I'm incredibly grateful
to panto for the technique it teaches. The timing.
Calamity Jane and panto are very different, but
it meant with Calamity Jane I'm much braver with
the text. I'm much braver with delivering lines
and I think I have panto to thank for that.
Gloria: Do you have lots of
songs in this?
Toyah: Calamity Jane? I'm
singing all the time.
Gloria: No, panto!
Toyah: Yes I've got enough
songs. I've got about five. I wanted to open with
(sings) "I feel good...da da da...I knew
that I would now". We open with that. My
leading lady sings 'Fields Of Gold' - absolutely
beautiful. I get to sing (sings) "Once in a
lifetime, every man has a moment". 'We're In
The Money', some good, traditional songs. The one
thing that transfixes children is the story
between good and evil. I think any child, up to
the age of 75, is transfixed by this story, and
pantomime is so fantastic for good overcoming
evil. It is when you can hear a pin drop,
especially with Aladdin, when he goes into the
cave and thinks he's lost. They know the genie is
going to appear but Aladdin doesn't. There's this
icy hush and I think that's gorgeous, it's very
exciting to experience that.
Gloria: When do you open?
Toyah: We have a public dress
rehearsal next Thursday, and we open on Friday 13th
Gloria: Good timing. And one day
off for Christmas?
Toyah: Yes, but it's enough.
You can eat 10,000 calories in that day and not
worry about it.
Gloria: You're fine. You never
know who might ask you to do another nude
photograph in the New Year! You're doing Calamity
Jane in the New Year?
Toyah: Yes, I'm back into
Calamity. Open in Glasgow on 18th January and
then on the road right through till May.
Gloria: Thank you, Toyah Willcox.
Open House -