The www.toyah.net News Section offers you up-to-date info about Toyah. We compile all the latest headlines, confirmed Toyah news, rumours, and events. We also bring you the latest on most of Toyah's appearances, plus all the info on new & forthcoming releases.




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 Vampires Rock - Halloween Hellraising!
 Friday 31st October, 2008.............................................................Theatre

Happy Halloween to you all - and spookily... a bunch of vampires will descend on Ipswich this evening. Rumour has it it the event will be filmed as well!!

Toyah and Vampires Rock are at the Ipswich Regent, with a film crew capturing the show for a future DVD release (not confirmed as yet but highly likely).

PS. It's exactly one year since 'Latex Messiah (Viva La Rebel In You)' was released. Time flies!

 Daily Record - Punk star Toyah: Why I enjoy vamping it up 
 Friday 31st October, 2008........................................................Press Clips
Punk star Toyah: Why I enjoy vamping it up in new rock stage show

Punk singer Toyah Willcox loves playing the Devil Queen in stage show Vampires Rock, which is about to tour Scotland.

Dressing up in outrageous costumes to belt out classic rock tunes every night is a dream come true for the 50-year-old singer.

She said: "It is a lovely show to do and really good fun. The audience just love it, too. They all come dressed up as their favourite vampire or really gothic, they participate in everything and they love the music.

"Each song is a fantastic rock track and the audience know every word. It's great and it is the one show I've done that goes in a blink of an eye."

Show creator Steve Steinman reckons that Toyah is the perfect choice to play the Devil Queen in the unique production.

He said: "I really wouldn't call Vampires Rock a musical, it is a concert with a little bit more.

"It is very visual and Toyah just fits in so well. She is a legend and she has absolutely done the business and looks like she is really enjoying it."

Toyah is so involved in the show that she even designs the costumes.

She said: "I have created these looks over the last year as part of Toyah TV that I started on My Space.

"I have a team that creates my looks for me and I do have a lot of say in how I want them to be. It is something that I have done for many years."

Toyah has her fingers in many pies. As well as Vampires Rock, she has recently released two albums, In The Court Of The Crimson Queen and Good Morning Universe - The Very Best of Toyah. She has also been performing solo gigs in front of as many as 30,000 people. She said: "I've had a very busy year, but that's the way I like it. I love my work because it is great fun and it is so varied.

"No day is the same as the last and I don't look forward to booking a holiday the way other people do because it just doesn't fit into my life. But that's probably because my life feels rewarding and I don't feel any need to escape from that.

"I am very choosy about the work that I do and I would never pick jobs which would make me feel like that.

"I look for things that have originality, which push boundaries. I'm not interested in what I'd call safe, I like things that are quite unusual and new in their approach.

"Like with Vampire Rocks, there is something very clever about it. It is an incredibly simple idea, but the audience just get it. There is very little script, Steve just lets the songs carry the story. You just have to see how the audiences react to see how it simply works."

Toyah, who is originally from Birmingham, has been in show business for more than 30 years, first coming to the public's attention when she appeared in Derek Jarman's 1977 film Jubilee and Quadrophenia.

Her singing career then blossomed in the early 1980s with hits It's A Mystery and I Want To Be Free and in 1982 she was named Best Female Singer at the British Rock and Pop Awards, now the Brits.

Over the years, she has also appeared in a huge range of TV programmes ranging from Songs Of Praise to the The Good Sex Guide. More recently, she has been in Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, the third series of which she is booked to appear in next year.

She said: "I am fully booked for all of next year.

"I am doing more Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, Vampires Rock again, I am starring in a film called Power Of Three and I am playing Paul McGann's sister in a new series called Mason And Son.

"So I am pretty busy and that's just the way I like it."

 Toyah on TV/Sky Movies
 Friday 31st October, 2008.........................................................Television
Quadrophenia : Sky Movies Indie - Saturday 1st November : 10.00pm
The Who wrote and produced this energetic story of a young man disillusioned with his life in 1960s London. Phil Daniels excels as the alienated anti-hero Jimmy Cooper. Director: Franc Roddam. Starring: Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Toyah Willcox, Philip Davis, Mark Wingett, Sting, and Ray Winstone. (Being shown as part of the 'This is Indie' season)

Cherry Red : Rockworld.TV - Sunday 2nd November: 8.00pm
Cherry Red : Rockworld.TV - Tuesday 4th November : 4.30pm
Cherry Red presents classic iconic punk/indie star Toyah Willcox live in Wolverhampton, 2005.

Most Fertile Man In Ireland : Sky Movies - Tuesday 4th Nov : 6.15am
Twenty-four year old virgin, Eamonn Manley, lives with his mother in Belfast and is painfully shy with the ladies. Things change for Eamonn when Mary Malloy decides to make the first move and soon Mary realises that she is pregnant even though she was using birth control. The doctor discovers that Eamonn has an unusually high sperm count... His mother has the idea that he can help the local ladies who have had problems conceiving a baby... Director: Dudi Appleton. Starring: Kris Marshall, Kathy Kiera Clarke, Bronagh Gallagher, James Nesbitt, Kenneth Cranham, Toyah Willcox and Olivia Nash. (NB: This is showing on Sky Movies Comedy and Sky Movies Comedy HD simultaneously)

Brum : CBeebies - Tuesday 11th November : 4.50pm
Brum to The Rescue. Toyah Willcox narrates the adventures of a small Austin Chummy Convertible who lives in a motor museum.

 100 Hits - 80s Pop 5CD Set
 Saturday 25th October, 2008.......................................................Releases
Toyah is included on the newly released '100 Hits - 80s Pop' compilation CD. This is a 5CD set, with 'It's A Mystery' on CD2.

This isn't to be confused with an earlier compilation in this series, '100 Hits - 80s'

100 Hits 80s Pop showcases the best classic tracks from the decade, including tracks from Echo & The Bunnymen, Howard Jones, Strawberry Switchblade, Toyah, Fuzzbox, Fine Young Cannibals, Communards, Debbie Gibson, Bananarama, A-Ha and many more.

Launched in October 2007 100 Hits has sold over 750,000 units so far. With 9 new releases in October 2008, the label continues to go from strength to strength delivering not only great value, but quality tracks from a number of artists previously unavailable at this price point. 

Offering 100 quality tracks across 5CDs, 100 Hits features both major and independent label repertoire from a diverse range of artists.

 Vampires Rock - Newsy Bits & Pieces
 Saturday 25th October, 2008.........................................................Theatre
• As well as the recently announced seven London dates for February and March 2009 at the Shaw Theatre, all of which Toyah will appear at, www.toyahwillcox.com has just also confirmed Toyah will play on another two 2009 Vampires Rock dates. These are Belfast Waterfront Hall on Friday 13th February and Perth Concert Hall on Friday 27th February.

• Toyah is also in discussions about appearing in another UK tour of Vampires Rock for late 2009. More news when confirmed. (Source: The Official Toyah Willcox website)

Vampires Rock will be filmed on Halloween this year at Ipswich Regent Theatre for a future DVD release. If you're attending the show make sure you look as devlish as possible! (Source: The Official Toyah Willcox website)

• Toyah and the cast have just enjoyed Sold Out shows at Bedworth Civic Hall and Birmingham Alexandra this week. Tonight they play Harrogate International Centre, and Wolverhampton Civic tomorrow night.

 Good Morning Universe - The Very Best Of Toyah
 Saturday 25th October, 2008............................................................Music
Amid the avalanche of 'In The Court Of The Crimson Queen' and Vampires Rock news over the last few months, Toyah's best ever compilation, 'Good Morning Universe - The Very Best Of Toyah' 2CD set has been receiving positive reviews, including this short one from Alan Jones at 'Music Week'.

Music Week: Most recently glimpsed as Billie Piper’s mum in ITV’s Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, Toyah keeps a high profile, and remains a cult favourite. This is the first comprehensive compilation of her work since a 1995 release on the defunct Connoisseur Collection label and brings together music from her career, including 18 singles, key album tracks, rare b-sides and previously unreleased demos and mixes. (Alan Jones)

 Travel Mail - Speaking to the dead in a haunted castle
 Saturday 25th October, 2008....................................................Press Clips
Speaking to the dead in a haunted castle, By Toyah Willcox,
The Mail on Sunday, 19th October 2008 

I felt as if I was in that classic Hollywood horror The Haunting Of Hill House. Six of my closest friends and I arrived at a haunted castle for an evening investigating the paranormal. This was a serious event for Haunting Breaks, which is passionate about trying to ensure clients have a paranormal experience - that's why it chooses venues where unsuspecting members of the public have already been rudely awoken by spooks. 

We were staying at Bolebroke Castle, Henry VIII's hunting lodge, where he courted Anne Boleyn and where she now supposedly walks the corridors without her head. 

On arrival, we giggled like school children and teased each other about being spooked, all of us slightly sceptical but rather excited at the same time. Only 12 hours later I insisted two friends slept in the same room as me because I was too frightened to be alone. 

Bolebroke Castle, near Hartfield in Sussex, has a long history of 'sightings'. Guests have happened across a woman in grey, a running boy and other nightly apparitions. 

This might put some people off ever visiting but thanks to the growing popularity of TV programmes such as Most Haunted and Living With The Dead there are many willing victims desperate to find life after death or just wanting the thrill of bumping into ghosties in the night. I am one of them. 

The paranormal team, Peter Turner and Carol Bowen and guest psychic Ruth Brunt-Jones, are serious about the subject but welcoming and keen to be questioned. We sat outside in the sunshine diving into a cream tea and talking about the events to come later that evening. 

Group bookings work particularly well with this event. First, there's safety in numbers if one person gets scared witless; and second, the laughter tends to flow more easily and long into the night, making me think that this is an ideal hen-night escapade. 

Then, after tea, we tried on our Elizabethan costumes. I was a bit dubious about dressing up at first but it bonded the whole team and, according to 'medium' Carol Bowen, this encouraged activity. She also commented that spirits like laughter. Well, they were getting plenty of that from us, we were in hysterics at how we all looked. 

The bedrooms at Bolebroke are large and most are en suite. Mine was the King's Room, which made me nervous as I really wouldn't have liked a visit from Henry VIII. He was too much of a bully for my liking. 

Just before supper at 8pm, we had drinks and an excellent presentation from Peter and Carol who showed us pictorial evidence of spirit activity from other events and titillated us with what we could expect to see. And we were asked to pick a crystal to be kept on our person at all times for our own protection - the crystal having been blessed by a psychic. 

After supper we would be attempting to contact the dead, or at least finding evidence of ghosts with dowsing, the art of using a pendulum or a pair of dowsing rods to locate an energy field. 

Table-tipping was another, very antiquated, technique. This is a simple experiment where people seated around the table ask the spirits to 'tip the table'. I think I saw Margaret Rutherford do this in an old black and white movie when I was 12. Glass divination is equally 'schooldays'. I think everyone has tried this in the school common room at some point in their teenage years. Finally, there was the 1am seance. The idea of this slightly spooked me, as I was not sure I want to talk to the dead. I only wanted to see them. 

After a wonderful three-course supper in the spooky medieval banqueting hall, our activities started with pendulums and dowsing rods. I have dowsed before, for water and for ley lines (invisible power lines said to crisscross the world), and I take pride that I am a natural dowser. 

And my skills did not let me down. I made contact with a spirit immediately and had the attention of the whole room, especially when one of my friends photographed me and the camera wouldn't focus, instead capturing a purple 'aura' behind me. 

Peter guided me on how to have a dialogue with the other side by using the rods. I had to ask questions that could be answered with only 'yes' or 'no'. A 'yes' was when the rods crossed and a 'no' was when they moved apart. I could definitely feel a power moving through my hands and into the rods, moving them erratically. 

This was very exciting and not at all scary and encouraged the other guests to join in but they didn't all have the luck I had. 

Our hosts said they were highly qualified in contacting the other side but qualifications didn't guarantee who and what you contacted. 

I seemed to have 'spirited up' a maid who worked at the castle between the wars and she gave the name Joy. This took a long time to find out. I had to ask the question 'Does your name start with an A? Does your name start with a B?'... until I received a 'yes' for J. Then I could start guessing every name that started with that letter. 

Our next quest took us back into Bolebroke's eerie and oppressive dining hall, to try our hand with an upturned glass. 

With the team's fingers resting lightly on the glass, we took it in turns to ask if there was a spirit who wanted to make contact. 

Unbeknown to the Haunting Breaks team, I had chosen friends to accompany me who had all lost loved ones in the past 12 months and this was when the evening became very powerful. They all made contact with who they wanted to. It is easy to say that anyone can pretend to be a ghost and push the glass but each member of my team asked questions that only the deceased person could answer and only one of those questions received a wrong reply from about 30 asked. This success left all the guests stunned and elated. 

Next, we were taken to a bedroom on the first floor where past guests had reported being woken by their bedding being forcibly pulled off. 

Contact was again a glass and a table, with all of us placing a finger on the glass. We immediately had a very energetic and angry response, with the glass almost shooting off the table. This is where the evening became really spooky. Realising the glass was possessed by a male spirit, I started to ask questions. 

'Are you a huntsman?' 
'Yes,' said the glass. 
'Do you have many mistresses?' 
The glass violently shot to the 'yes' position on the table. 
'Were you killed hunting?' 
The glass slowly moved to 'no'. 
'Were you murdered by a mistress's husband?'

Don't ask me why I asked these questions. Possibly because I had entered into the 'spirit' of the evening by dressing up, possibly because I embraced the history of the castle, but the glass shot violently across the table to say 'yes'. 

By now, I was very scared and very tired. When we headed for bed I asked two of my friends to move into my room for the night and we settled down for a surprisingly restful sleep. 

 Vampires Rock - Toyah & The Vamps!
 Saturday 25th October, 2008........................................................Pictures
A great photo of Toyah, with John and friends, after the Vampires Rock show at the Manchester Palace last week. Click on the pic for a larger version.

 Liverpool Daily Post - Toyah rocks on with a vampiric twist
 Saturday 25th October, 2008....................................................Press Clips
Toyah Willcox tells Emma Pinch about the feminist message in her new show and album

It was inevitable that one day – or, rather, one sunset – pop star Toyah Willcox would morph into a vampire.

This is the woman, after all, who doesn’t sleep, is on nodding terms with the undead, and, judging from the evidence, likes to bite life firmly in the throat.

This year Toyah, 50, has her first studio album in 14 years, has created Toyah TV, has walked the Gobi Desert and the Great Wall of China with Olivia Newton John and Danni Minogue, and is on an arena tour as a hard-rocking vampiress.

Vampires Rock, by Steve Steinman, is set in a New York club called Live and Let Die. It’s the year 2030 and the undead are among us.

Toyah’s character is a femme fatale devil in high-heeled boots belting out classic rock anthems. The former high priestess of punk is, in her own words, “a bit of an attention seeker”, so it’s a plum role.

She describes it as a sort of Rocky Horror Show, songs from the likes of Bon Jovi, Meatloaf, AC/DC, Led Zep and Twisted Sister, providing a narrative, with plenty of pyrotechnics and costume changes.

“Vampire Rock is about a 2,000-year-old Baron Von Rockula and he wants to trade my character, The Devil Queen, in for a younger model,” enthuses Toyah. “It’s the same old story that women have to live with right through their lives. But it goes down so well,” she confesses, with her infectious lisp.

“Baron Von Rockula has found this new young protegé and it’s about the battle between the three of them. It’s very tongue-in-cheek.

“My character is very manipulative, always threatening to kick her husband out and beat up Pandora. She’s pretty vile but audiences just love it. I get such huge cheers.

“It’s full in your face. There’s so much Nosferatu in it.”

Being thrown over at a certain age, with no intention of going quietly, describes Toyah’s own battle.

Lesser God, which opens the show, was a song she wrote in protest at women getting a raw deal. “Women are treated like second-class citizens, never more so than in religion,” she says. “The title speaks for itself. Because I’m a woman, am I made by a second-hand God? If women ruled the world, I think it would be a very different world.”

Though she says she entered it with her eyes open, there are few industries more sexist and ageist than showbiz.

She felt compelled to get a facelift after Jonathan Ross criticised her sagging looks on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. But, in typical Toyah style, she followed it up with the gruesomely honest Diary of a Facelift. The public reaction touched her profoundly.

“Funnily enough, it’s one of the strongest things I’ve done in being accepted as a human being. I just get people coming up to me daily, thanking me for that book. Women of my age say ‘Thank you for being honest’.

“When I had my facelift, in the next room to me in Paris was a very famous supermodel having her skin lasered and resurfaced for this L’Oreal shoot for skin cream. It’s this whole thing that women, within the cosmetic industry, are constantly lied to to spend their money, and it just makes me so angry the industry does that. I actually think the book set a trend for being more open and honest about things.“

A childhood spent with severe illness – she had a twisted spine and club feet – left her extremely health conscious. She shuns alcohol and smoking, and gives talks about how to maintain health to enjoy an active middle age.

Her achievements this year were “very consciously” to send a message to women her age that they could do it, too.

“I’m really so dead against smoking and drinking, I don’t socialise in the company of people who do those either. I’m really very strong about it; it’s cost me a lot of friendships.

“If you plan and you work hard and you keep your health, there’s no reason you can’t have a fantastic life. I see people destroy themselves by 30. Really you should hit 50 and have a fantastic time.”

Her new album, In The Court of the Crimson Queen, pushes further the defiant message.

“There’s one song called Angel in You which is about bagging the boy you never slept with in your 20s. And it’s about I’ve been meaning to do this for years and I’m leading you up the stairs to wonderland. The only theme is I never denied my age and never calmed down either. I wanted to write sexy rock songs for my age group.”

She’s so emphatic and vivac- ious, it’s impossible to see how she does it all without sleep.

Yet she’s been a chronic insomniac since 14, and says her body has just adjusted to it.

“It doesn’t mean I’m up partying all the time,” she says. “The thing with insomnia is once you lose daylight your brain is as hopeless as someone who sleeps. You’re literally in suspended animation. In the summer it’s fantastic because you only get about three hours of darkness. Once you’re in the winter months, it’s about wading through mud.

“About once every two weeks I manage to sleep and it’s really good solid sleep. I’m OK if I sleep between 8am and 10am, I can survive the day and that’s the only time I survive the day properly.”

Toyah shares the wee hours with ghosts that haunt her home, which lies in the shadow of Pershore Abbey, in Worcestershire. It’s a situation she’s airily matter-of-fact about.

“I live in a very old house in a town renowned for hauntings. You see them in the road. It’s where I live, there’s a lot of history.”

The internet has been a blessing: “I get up and go to my office and pester people with email. People are very imp- ressed when they get an email from me at two in the morning. Until they realise I just don’t get any sleep, they seem to think there’s something superhuman about it.”

You can hardly blame them.

* Vampires Rock Christmas is at Echo Arena, Liverpool on December 27 and tickets cost £25. Call 0844 8000 400 or go to www.accliverpool.com For more information on Steve Steinman’s Vampires Rock visit www.vampiresrock.com

 The Guardian - The golden age of the dispossessed
 Saturday 25th October, 2008....................................................Press Clips
Toyah, Quadrophenia and Jubilee are all namechecked in an interesting article in 'The Guardian' yesterday.

Clunky and cliched, British music films of the late 1970s - such as Babylon and Breaking Glass - had their flaws, but they were stunning documents of a nation in flux, by Jon Savage.

Quadrophrenia is the apparent odd man out. It is set in the moment that the British penchant for tribal youth violence became national news: the mod-rocker disturbances of the spring of 1964. Even then, it's very much filtered through 1973 (the release of the original Who album) and 1978 (the start of the mod revival). The mod gang - actors such as Mark Wingett, Phil Davis, Garry Shail and Toyah, who appear right across the music films of the time - are more interested in mayhem than style. As Jimmy (Phil Daniels) is cast out by the group, he becomes more like a proper, original mod: psychotically dandyish with makeup and jerky, camp gestures. Within the terms of 1978/79, this is dangerously feminised, almost queer, and this is in sharp relief to many of the other films, which summon the spirit of the barracks. Within this, the use of Hazel O'Connor as the lead in Breaking Glass comes as a welcome change, reflecting as it does punk's shift in gender roles. 

Almost buried under the barrage of blokes, there were many strong, dominatrix-style women in early punk: Jordan and Siouxsie to name but two. Both appear as members of a homicidal girl gang in Jubilee, one of the few films from this period to avoid strict social realism in favour of phantasmagoria. Derek Jarman's film posits a dystopian future where the break-up of British society has resulted in summary violence and fascism. Like Breaking Glass, it touches - none too subtly - on music industry exploitation, but the point is nevertheless well-taken: one the film's leads is the future early 1980s superstar, Adam Ant. The Sex Pistols' The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle also rejects literalism, partly because the group broke up during its production. It is chiefly memorable for the vivid opening sequence of the Gordon Riots: Malcolm McLaren's chaotic vision of 18th-century anarchy transposed to the late 70s. 

Read the full article here.

 St Mary's Hospital - Children's Art for Children Exhibition
 Saturday 25th October, 2008...........................................................Events
Toyah will open an exhibition of paintings by Nepalese children as part of Children's Art for Children on Wednesday 17th December 2008.
 The Rocky Horror Show - Tribute Show DVD - Region 1
 Sunday 19th October, 2008.........................................................Releases
The front and back covers of the region 1 Rocky Horror Tribute Show DVD. This was released in the US/Canada on 14th October. The cover, with Toyah pictured on the back, is almost identical to the forthcoming region 2 release, available from 10th November in the UK.

Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Tribute Show, which was filmed May 3, 2006, to celebrate English Stage Company's 50th anniversary, will be released on DVD Oct. 14 by Kultur International Films.

Narrated and re-written by Rocky Horror scribe Richard O'Brien, the concert-style tribute to the stage musical and cult film boasts performances by Patricia Quinn, Adriann Edmondson, Sophie Lawrence, Kraig Thornber, Toyah Willcox, Amy Field, Anthony Head, Gary Amers, Ben Richards, Joanna Farrell, Stephen Gately, Julian Littman, Michael Ball and Little Nell. Christopher Luscombe directed.

Providing narration are creator O'Brien as well as Tony Slattery, Robin Cousins, Rayner Bourton, Steve Pemberton, Christopher Biggins and Jamie Theakston.

Among the songs performed on the DVD — many by cast members from the original London production of Rocky Horror — are "Science Fiction"/"Double Feature," "Dammit, Janet," "Over at the Frankenstein Place," "Time Warp," "Sweet Transvestite," "The Sword of Damocles," "Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul," "Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me," "Once in a While," "Eddie's Teddy," "Planet Schmanet, Janet," "Rose Tint My World," "Don't Dream It, Be It," "Wild and Untamed Thing," "I'm Going Home," "Super Heroes" and the reprise of "Time Warp."

 The Rocky Horror Show - Tribute Show DVD - Screen Caps
 Sunday 19th October, 2008.........................................................Releases
Screen captures from the Rocky Horror Tribute Show DVD. This looks like a LOT of fun. Toyah is having a ball onstage! Please click on the caps for larger versions.

 Toyah on Sky Movies
 Sunday 19th October, 2008.......................................................Television
Quadrophenia : Sky Movies Indie - Saturday 1st November : 10.00pm
The Who wrote and produced this energetic story of a young man disillusioned with his life in 1960s London. Phil Daniels excels as the alienated anti-hero Jimmy Cooper. Director: Franc Roddam. Starring: Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Toyah Willcox, Philip Davis, Mark Wingett, Sting, and Ray Winstone. (Being shown as part of the 'This is Indie' season)
 Anchoress - Region 2 DVD - Release Delayed
 Sunday 19th October, 2008.........................................................Releases
The region 2 DVD release of Anchoress has been put back to early next year. It will now be available from 19th January 2009.

When a 14th century village girl (Natalie Morse) begins to see visions of the Virgin Mary, her religious beliefs set off a crisis in the town. The local priest (Christopher Eccleston) and an officer contend with the girl and her mother (Toyah Willcox) for power and authority.

 Vampires Rock - Edinburgh Evening News Review
 Sunday 19th October, 2008......................................................Press Clips
The quirky real-time on-line diary of the Entertainment Editor of the Edinburgh Evening News

Finally, in Doncaster of all places, I caught Vampire's Rock featuring Toyah Willcox - a heroine of my youth. 

Vampire's Rock has a story... somewhere. Set in 2030, Baron Von Rockula (Meatloaf tribute act Steve Steinman) is the owner of New York's Live and Let Die club where the undead are livelier than ever. 

When Pandora, an aspiring singer, arrives for an audition, little does she know that she is not only auditioning to be the club's resident vocalist, but also to be the eternal bride of Baron Von Rockula – much to the chagrin of the Vampire Queen aka Toyah.

Following that story however, as the cast and their live band, The Hellbound Express, blast their way through the hits of AC/DC, Guns 'N' Roses, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, Joan Jett and Suzi Quatro is easier said than done.

So when the show returns to the Playhouse in 2009 (minus Toyah), I reckon the secret is to go along prepared for a rock concert featuring all your head-banging favourites, rather than a piece of theatre. 

Liam Ruddem - Edinburgh Evening News: September 2008

 Vampires Rock - Tour Update
 Saturday 18th October, 2008.........................................................Theatre
Vampires Rock is going great, the tour has been receiving a lot of positive feedback. Last night was the second of two gigs at the Mansfield Palace Theatre, and was Toyah's 14th show. The cast and band have a few days rest before the next show on Thursday (23rd October) at Bedworth Civic Hall.

 Two from Toyah!
 Saturday 18th October, 2008........................................................Pictures
Two great photos from Toyah's recent 'Fab' magazine feature.

 Northern Echo/7Days - Born To Be A Vampire
 Saturday 18th October, 2008...................................................Press Clips
Toyah was interviewed this week by 'The Northern Echo', and Toyah and Steve appeared on the cover of '7Days'.

Toyah Willcox talks to Viv Hardwick about her Vampire Rocks role and why she doesn’t believe a word she reads about herself in newspapers. 

If you were going to select anyone to be a Vampire Queen then Toyah Willcox was always likely to be top of the list. “I was born to play this role,” she laughs and says that the impression of her isn’t a worry. “I really like the idea that eventually I get to play a devil queen. It’s the baddie role, the roles where you can really go out there and not be logical with your behaviour and I really like what we’ve done with this particular character. She’s completely off her rocker and has to become quite human and feminine to win her husband back. 

So it’s quite hysterical,” she says. 

The 50-year-old has agreed to take on the role in the show, Vampires Rock, for 44 dates, which includes York next month and Sunderland in October, 2009. 

“It’s interesting the majority of the dates are nice intimate theatres, but at Christmas we’re doing Liverpool Arena and then Belfast, so it’s a lovely mix of venues. It’s actually a big show with a lot of us on stage and there’s a full rock band who are on the stage all night, plus dancers, actors, a full lighting rig and pyrotechnics. It must be the biggest touring one-night show in the country. 

It’s massive,” Toyah adds. 

Vampires Rock has been building a cult following for the past five years and shamelessly appeals to the fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. 

“People go along because they feel part of the show. When Steve Steinman, the creator, contacted me I was both intrigued and very interested,” says the singer/actor who came to the showman’s attention after spending the last 12 months creating Toyah TV on MySpace. 

“There’s been lots of bizarre videos, and energies and brand new music. He said ‘we can actually take that and slot it into the show’. My new album came out and it charted at No 11 in the itunes rock chart. So this is one of the first symbiotic relationships to happen between new music and a show which puts rock classics on a pedestal,” she explains. Her opening number is her creation, Lesser God, but she also gets to perform Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell and Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, as the songs provide a background to the script. 

“There a lot of people out there who love their rock and roll but they want to see something that is a little more than a band and singers. So this is Spinal Tap with teeth,” she explains, adding that you can argue that the script shouldn’t get in the way of the music. 

Here, the ultra-thin plot is Baron Von Rockular wanting to trade in his 2,000- year-old wife for a younger model. “It’s a fast-moving show with a lot of comedy, so it’s not a musical in the sense of a disgruntled teenager looking for fame,” Toyah adds. 

Her route to Vampires Rock has been a year on the road touring with the Here And Now arena shows, which has proved a huge hit with fans, plus festivals. 

Seeing her workload, which included filming a new series of BBC’s Secret Diary Of A Call Girl with Billie Piper, she says: “I actually don’t enjoy sleeping. It’s something I have to make myself do. 

I’m economical with my time. For example, two hours before curtain up I shut the dressing room door and don’t speak and that’s phenomenonly restful. I don’t party and I don’t like drinking and you’d have to pay me a million pounds to go into a nightclub. I just don’t live like that.” She does admit that she was more of a party animal in her younger days but dismisses a lot of the media reporting on ‘drug-addicted’ young pop stars as “to be taken with a pinch of salt”. 

“Every day I read weird things about myself and it’s just staggering. There was a headline on the Daily Telegraph on-line recently: ‘Toyah says Madonna’s ashamed of doing old songs’. I don’t know Madonna and haven’t seen her in concert for three years, but when you saw the article you believed I was there on her opening night. There was another headline ‘Toyah Wants Her Breasts Removed’ which makes me think people sit around a table thinking up the oddest things to say about the oddest people. 

That’s why I don’t believe what I read about anyone else,” she says. 

Toyah has tried to put the record straight with her autobiography, Living Out Loud in 2000, and done her own piece of journalistic research with a book on plastic surgery from the inside – Diary Of A Facelift in 2005. 

“Everyone does it, absolutely everyone and denies it and I have a problem with that. I think it’s wrong to have surgery and then go and tell people that you’ve lost weight because you’re dieting or you look 20 years younger because you’ve got good genes. It doesn’t help people get on with their lives that kind of dishonesty. 

So that’s why I wrote about it,” says Toyah, who found that many of the people having the surgery were men. “There are just as many men who have the good old botox as women,” says the performer who claims she has no complaints about the results on herself. 

“I do what I do for me. In the end everything is down to personal choice,” she adds. Interestingly, when I ask if her intention was to look younger to further her own career, Toyah asks if the interview can move in another direction. 

With a new album, Latex Messiah, and a Greatest Hits compilation on sale, Toyah says of her music career: “I surprised myself because I had retired as a recording artist. I never expected to do it again. I started 12 months ago writing for other artists and then people said ‘your voice is sounding great, you should do an album’ and that’s why I started releasing a new video to a song every few months on Toyah TV. So when the album came out on itunes it charted immediately. Radiohead have proved that sometimes itunes sell more than mail order and CD sales,” she adds. 

When I mention that fans downloading her tracks straight to their ever-present MP3 players are more likely to listen to her music than CD buyers she acknowledges the point. 

“It’s about visibility and I’m lucky that I have a music history and I get to play live, but it does seem that everything is condensing and speeding up.” 

 Toyah on TV/Sky Movies
 Saturday 18th October, 2008....................................................Television
Most Fertile Man In Ireland : Sky Movies - Friday 24th October : 3.20am
Twenty-four year old virgin, Eamonn Manley, lives with his mother in Belfast and is painfully shy with the ladies. Things change for Eamonn when Mary Malloy decides to make the first move and soon Mary realises that she is pregnant even though she was using birth control. The doctor discovers that Eamonn has an unusually high sperm count... His mother has the idea that he can help the local ladies who have had problems conceiving a baby... Director: Dudi Appleton. Starring: Kris Marshall, Kathy Kiera Clarke, Bronagh Gallagher, James Nesbitt, Kenneth Cranham, Toyah Willcox and Olivia Nash. 

NB: This is showing on Sky Movies Comedy and Sky Movies Comedy HD simultaneously.

Cherry Red : Rockworld.TV - Friday 24th October : 2.00pm
Cherry Red : Rockworld.TV - Thursday 30th October : 3.00pm
Cherry Red presents classic iconic punk/indie star Toyah Willcox live in Wolverhampton, 2005.

 Dreamscape News Archive
 Thursday 16th October, 2008....................................................Site News
Toyah News for August 2008 has just been added to Dreamscape's News Archive. Please take a look, there's almost nine years of Toyah news to browse.

 The Paul O'Grady Show - Screen Captures
 Thursday 16th October, 2008....................................................Television
Hot off the press!! ;) ... captures from The Paul O'Grady Show. Please click on them for larger versions.

Check back soon for captures from Toyah's other TV appearance today, GMTV's LK Today.

 Toyah on TV - TODAY!!
 Thursday 16th October, 2008....................................................Television
Toyah is scheduled to appear on two UK talk shows today. This morning she guests on LK Today, Lorraine Kelly's GMTV show. This will be a feature on Toyah's home.

Later this afternoon The Paul O'Grady Show should be airing their visit to Vampires Rock, rescheduled from Monday.

LK Today (GMTV) : ITV1 - Thursday 16th October : 8.30am
The Paul O'Grady Show : Channel 4 - Thursday 16th October : 5.00pm
The Paul O'Grady Show : Channel 4 +1 - Thursday 16th October : 6.00pm

NB: Both of these could change.

 Vampires Rock - Crimson Queen Ad/Vampires Programme
 Thursday 16th October, 2008 • Thanks to Paul...................Music/Theatre
A promo ad for 'In The Court Of The Crimson Queen'/Vampires Rock (also featuring Dreamscape's url - Thank You John). On the right is Toyah, photographed by Dean Stockings, as the Devil Queen, taken from the Vampires Rock programme. Click on the pictures for larger versions.

 Vampires Rock - Rocks Into London 2009
 Thursday 16th October, 2008 • Thanks to Dean............................Theatre
Vampires Rock will be hitting London in 2009. Toyah will be joining Steve and the cast for a seven day run at the Shaw Theatre. Tickets are now on sale so don’t delay and get onto the box office before they are all snatched up.

The Shaw Theatre, 100 - 110 Euston Road, London NW1 2AJ 
Box Office: 0871 594 3123

Saturday 28th Feb - Friday 5th March. Tickets are priced at £35 each.

 Vampires Rock - Manchester Palace
 Thursday 16th October, 2008 • Thanks to Paul............................Pictures
Toyah, with Paul, in Manchester after the Vampires Rock show at the Palace Theatre.

 Manchester Metro - Vampires Rock
 Thursday 16th October, 2008 • Thanks to Paul.......................Press Clips
A short article on Vampires Rock, from Tuesday's 'Manchester Metro'.

 Vampires Rock - Extra Hull date added
 Thursday 16th October, 2008........................................................Theatre
Due to 1200 seats at Hull New Theatre selling out so fast an extra date has been added on December 3rd. Tickets on sale now.

 Limited Edition - Living out loud
 Monday 13th October, 2008.....................................................Magazines
Toyah is interviewed in the latest issue of 'Limited Edition' magazine. The publication is an offshoot of 'The Kidderminster Shuttle'. Click below to read the full article in their e-mag.

 Crackerjack - Toyah Willcox Interview
 Monday 13th October, 2008.....................................................Press Clips
Toyah was interviewed recently by the 'Crackerjack' (no relation to the old BBC kid's TV show) website.

Natalie Hale catches up with Eighties punk princess Toyah Willcox as she gets her (sharp) teeth into her new role. 

Toyah Willcox has never been afraid to do and say exactly as she pleases, and, now she’s turned 50, the former high priestess of punk doesn’t show any signs of changing. 

“I love wearing the very dramatic, tight, glam rock costumes and devil’s horns. It’s not the easiest thing speaking and singing with vampire teeth, but they are quite sexy.” 

No, I’m not interviewing Toyah about her unusual fetishes, but about her role in the cult musical Vampires Rock. 

Read the full interview here

 Reveal - 'I just couldn't risk dodgy surgery'
 Monday 13th October, 2008 • Thanks to Paul..........................Magazines
Toyah's 'Reveal' interview from last week's issue of the magazine. Please click for a larger version. Apologies that the scan is slightly off in the middle.

 Weston & Somerset Mercury - Win tickets to Vampires Rock
 Monday 13th October, 2008.....................................................Press Clips
Win tickets to Vampires Rock at the Playhouse Theatre, Weston by clicking below. The competition closes 10am on 17th October.

 Dorset Echo - Vampire Toyah's got some bite
 Monday 13th October, 2008.....................................................Press Clips
The voice is still the same, instantly recognisable and slightly sibilant.

The laugh is gutsy and the opinions readily shared. After more than three decades of highly respected performing, Toyah Willcox is at ease with herself and the world around her and her place in it.

This means she can have fun when she wants - and there are few more raucously entertaining shows around than the rock music phenomenon Vampires Rock.

Set in New York in the year 2030, the undead are among us and livelier than ever, none more so than in the club Live and Let Die, where aspiring singer Pandora, played by Emily Clark, arrives to audition for the resident vocalist position.

Little does she know, that the only job on offer is to be the eternal bride of evil Baron Von Rockula, performed with sneering panache by the show's creator Steve Steinman.

But trouble stalks the club in the form of the Devil Queen - played by Toyah - Von Rockula's 2,000-year-old wife who has no intention of losing her spouse to some nightclub floozie.

The show is played out to a host of classic rock, played live by the Baron's hand picked band, The Lost Boys. There is also a hint of comedy, as the Baron and his sidekick, Stringfellow attempt to convince Pandora to lose her soul to rock and roll while the Devil Queen thwarts their every move.

With songs made famous by the likes of AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, Joan Jett, Suzi Quatro, Queen and many more, Vampires Rock will have you dancing in the aisles - or on your knees with your air guitar above your head.

"It is a fabulous show," said Toyah. "We are taking it round the country in a series of one-night stands at different venues. We are the largest show to tour doing one-night visits. There is a full rock band, dancers, a massive stage set and when we travel we have two arctic lorries and a huge rig for all our gear.

"We haven't cut any corners and have the best production values. It is like Spinal tap with teeth!" she laughed. "The only difference is that people are laughing with us - not at us."

She added: "Anyone who loves classic rock, high-energy rock, will love this show. And the costumes are great - mine are totally out there. They're statement pieces."

She added: "It's a loud show and a funny show. Anyone who loves rock music will love the show, whatever age they are."

 Transform - Toyah an advocate for cosmetic surgery
 Monday 13th October, 2008.....................................................Press Clips
Former 80s punk star Toyah Willcox recently advocated women's choice to undergo cosmetic surgery.

In a recent interview with USA Today, the 50-year-old singer argued that women should speak more openly about their decisions to go under the knife in order to help other women considering surgery.

"Getting a good surgeon took time because back then no one would talk openly about their surgery," she explained.

"The great thing now is that you don't have to look old at 50, or even 60. Just look at Helen Mirren - she's 62, looks fantastic and shows that you can be sexy at any age."

Toyah publicly admitted having a face-lift five years back, and published a book documenting her experience of cosmetic surgery in 2005.

Currently enjoying the current 80s revival, Toyah is starring in musical Vampires Rock as a devil queen.

No stranger to British theatre, in 2003, Toyah played Calamity Jane in London's West End.

 ACC Liverpool - Vampires Rock: Christmas with Toyah
 Monday 13th October, 2008..........................................................Theatre
This year Christmas gets a whole lot darker and a whole lot more fun - and whatever happens, it won’t be a 'Silent Night' when Vampires Rock hits town!

World famous hit show Vampires Rock, culminates its 50 date 2008 hit tour with a massive Christmas Party at the Echo Arena Liverpool on Saturday 27th December, the ONLY date in LIVERPOOL and the ONLY Vampires Rock arena show this year!

Tune up your air guitar and get ready to rock the night away to some of the best known rock anthems ever, including some number 1 Christmas classics...

 Vampires Rock - Toyah in Basingstoke
 Monday 13th October, 2008 • Thanks to Angus............................Pictures
Toyah, post show, Vampires Rock in Basingstoke earlier this month.

 Daily Mail - 'I confessed...'
 Wednesday 8th October, 2008.................................................Press Clips
'I confessed to cosmetic surgery so other women wouldn't suffer at the hands of cowboys,' says Toyah Willcox 

She has long counted Leslie Ash as a close confidante, so Toyah Willcox was well aware of the risks of cosmetic surgery.

But rather than being put off going under the knife by the sight of her friend's disastrous 'trout pout', she instead did her research and now advocates other women do the same.

'Getting a good surgeon took time because back then no one would talk openly about their surgery,' says the 50-year-old former punk singer who had a face-lift five years ago.

'I finally met a woman who showed me her surgery scars and recommended a French surgeon called Dr Oliver de Frahan who had worked on loads of stars.

'The reason I wrote my book, Diary Of A Facelift, is that no one would give me good advice and I didn't want other women to end up in the hands of a cowboy.'

Toyah, who braved the jungle in I'm A Celebrity... in 2003, is releasing a new album, The Court Of The Crimson Queen and also stars as Billie Piper's fresh-faced mother in Diary Of A Call Girl.

She says she is now much more content with her appearance

She adds: 'The great thing now is that you don't have to look old at 50, or even 60. Just look at Helen Mirren - she's 62, looks fantastic and shows that you can be sexy at any age.'

And while she also looks in amazing shape, she says there are limits to what she'll to in the name of vanity.

She told Reveal magazine: 'I'll never be Madonna. I'm not disciplined enough. I've tried being like her but I get too hungry.'

Toyah, who never wanted children, continues to live in England while her husband, musician Robert Fripp, 62, resides in the US.

She describes the relationship as 'unconventional', and reveals the pair spend around three months of the year together.

'But,' she insists, 'we've made it work.' 

NB: This is an abridged version of an interview that appears in this week's issue of REVEAL magazine. Two small photos of Toyah are on the cover of the magazine, with a two page feature inside.

 Loose Women - Screen Captures
 Wednesday 8th October, 2008..................................................Television
A selection of screen captures from Toyah's appearance on Loose Women last week. Click on them for larger versions.

 BBC Radio Gloucester - Toyah Interview
 Wednesday 8th October, 2008 • Thanks to Dean.............................Radio
Toyah was interviewed on BBC Radio Gloucester on Monday morning on The John Rockley Show (though the show was presented by a guest presenter). 

Toyah guested to talk about the 'Mind Body & Soul Weekend 2008', at Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham. She will be perform the grand opening and host a workshop at the event (see Sunday 28th September News update below for more info on this). Click on the logo to listen again to the interview.

 Dreamscape Forum
 Wednesday 8th October, 2008......................................................Internet
Dreamscape's Forum is now in its sixth year... Please pay a visit and join in with all the Toyah tawk!

 Metro - Vampires Rocks is gleeful, gory fun
 Tuesday 7th October, 2008......................................................Press Clips
Judging by the number of tour dates for this Rocky Horror-style spectacular, Steve Steinman's unremitting rock comedy musical is surprisingly popular. Set in an unlikely future populated by the undead, it promises sexy dancers, advanced pyrotechnics and, er, Toyah Willcox as the Devil Queen. 

With tongue firmly in cheek, Steinman plays the evil Baron Von Rockula, owner of New York's Live And Let Die club. On the lookout for a bride, he uses his vampiric wiles to tempt lissom young singer Pandora (Emily Taylor) into his rock den, as his band, The Lost Boys, rattle through endlessly flogged anthems by the likes of Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler and Bon Jovi. Audience participation in the form of strictly non-ironic air guitar is pretty much guaranteed. 

 BBC Somerset - Weston prepares to Rock - Vampire style
 Tuesday 7th October, 2008......................................................Press Clips
Vampires Rock is coming to Weston, the town which for the stars of the show - Toyah Willcox and Steve Steinman - holds some very special memories. 

Toyah Willcox has been gracing our screens and airwaves ever since she appeared in Derek Jarman's 1977 film Jubilee and 1979's Who album-inspired Quadrophenia.

But now, after achieving numerous chart-topping hits and an appearance on I'm A Celebrity, Toyah is back treading the boards in the musical Vampires Rock.

Here she plays the Devil Queen, the 2,000-year-old long suffering wife of Baron Von Rockula (played by Steve Steinman).

"He wants to get rid of me so the evening is spent trying to get rid of me and persuading a young, much more beautiful woman [to marry him]," said Toyah.

The new bride in question is an innocent, aspiring singer, Pandora (Emily Clark). Cue a host of classic rock, played live by the Baron’s hand picked band, The Lost Boys, and a hint of comedy, as the Baron and his sidekick, Stringfellow (Mike Taylor) attempt to convince Pandora to lose her soul to rock and roll.

The musical features many classic rock songs, some of which appear on Toyah's new album.

"The whole of Vampires Rock is about classic rock anthems. It’s hit after hit after hit and we let the anthems tell the story," said Toyah.

"It is dramatic, but it is also spinal tap with teeth and it is very, very funny. The audience are in for a good laugh and I think the reason why it is so funny is because we’re all relatively good at what we do and Steve’s a comedian at heart. It is dramatic and it is visually inspiring. There’s no corners cut whatsoever, you’ve got your pyrotechnics and stage set, fabulous costumes... so it’s quite an eye-opener."

It was written by Steve, who is well known for his abilities to rock-out as he appeared on Stars In Their Eyes as Meatloaf and he is working on a stage show based on his idol.

So as he stepped through the famous smoke-filled entrance, did he think, in years to come, that Meatloaf would still play a big part of his life?

"Did I ‘eck. When I did that I was actually running a hotel and restaurant, that was my business, I think I must have been 20, 21. And I did it, and I was a proper contestant and I had a business and three or four years later I started singing professionally," he said.

Pier showgirl
November 6th won't be the first time the pair have been to Weston. Steve used to ride motorbikes along the beach when he was younger while for Toyah, it could be said that without Weston, she would not exist.

"My mother was a dancer on the pier at Weston and my father saw her on stage there and pursued her around the country so my life, you could say, started in Weston and they visit Weston-super-Mare every month to have fish and chips."

So what do they think of the now fire-ravaged pier?

"It's awful isn't it. It's just the history in these piers. I was watching a programme about how many piers have burnt down across the country and really they need to be brought back," said Toyah.

"They’ve got to come back because culturally Britain does piers beautifully and they’re Edwardian / Victorian structures and I think it would be sad if all of them became ultra modern. I think there is something quintessentially family about the sea and seeing the pier."

Vampires Rock is on at Weston's Playhouse on 6 November.

 Official Toyah - October Blog
 Tuesday 7th October, 2008...........................................................Internet
Toyah's October Crimson Queen Blog has been added to the Official Toyah MySpace and www.toyahwillcox.com. Toyah sets the record straight about some recent interview headlines, and talks more about 'In The Court Of The Crimson Queen'.

 Official Toyah - Features
 Tuesday 7th October, 2008...........................................................Internet
There's currently two great features, on 'In The Court Of The Crimson Queen' and Vampires Rock, at Toyah's Official website. Click below to go there.

 Toyah on TV
 Tuesday 7th October, 2008.......................................................Television
Shoestring : Alibi (formerly UKTV Drama) - Friday 17th October : 7.00am
Shoestring : Alibi (formerly UKTV Drama) - Friday 17th October : 1.00pm
Find The Lady. Detective drama series. Shoestring investigates the reported murder of a seaside beauty queen. Starring: Trevor Eve, Michael Medwin, Doran Godwin, Christopher Biggins, Toyah Willcox, and Gary Holton.

[ SUPERFEATURE: 25 Years of The Changeling ]

[ SUPERFEATURE: Jubilee - Toyah is Mad! ]

[ SUPERFEATURE: Toyah's GLITTERing beginning! ]

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