Dreamscape: A Toyah Willcox Fansite [www.toyah.net] : somewhere in the distance : archived Toyah news for the month of Feb 2003


February 24, 2003: 'Brilliant Day'!!!
No Brilliance!Unfortunately I've decided not to go ahead with the unofficial BRILLIANT DAY get together. The main reason for this is that there are now a number of official Toyah gigs being organised for May, and I think these will celebrate 25 years of Toyahdom in a far better (more brilliant?) way.

Toyah is hoping to play, at least, four special gigs, and four BRILLIANT DAYS with Toyah in attendance and singing for everyone is definitely the best way to mark this special year, rather than my shambolic attempts.

So, I'll see you all in Manchester, Birmingham, London...

February 24, 2003: Toyah News - Bits & Pieces
• Toyah was cover star of 'East Anglian Magazine', the mag that accompanies the 'East Anglian Daily News' newspaper, on Saturday. Inside was a three page feature, detailed biography, and a mixture of old and new (including Calamity Jane) pictures of Toyah.

Thanks to Michael B for the info.

• The 'Wakefield Leisure & Sport Express' newspaper report that Toyah will be Guest Of Honour at the PHENOMENAL WOMAN'S NETWORK on Friday 7th March. The event takes place in Leeds, where Calamity Jane will be playing that week at the Grand Theatre, at the Tiger Tiger restaurant in Albion Street from noon until 3.00pm.

Thanks to Graham Dawson for the info

February 24, 2003: Toyah's February Webletter
Thanks to everyone who has emailed me regarding Toyah's February webletter. 

In response to the journalist's comments to Toyah about Dreamscape, I can only say that there has never been anything included on this site, intentionally or unintenionally, that could suggest any negativity towards Toyah, let alone that she is hated. I know this for sure as I'm the only person, aside from the Guestbook entries, who adds content. I am, and always have been, a massive fan and supporter of Toyah's work.

The only content that could in any way be construed as "anti-Toyah" are a couple of the more sarcastic Calamity Jane reviews originating from lazy, predictable journalists from certain publications. I included them to create a balanced, non sycophatic, coverage of the musical but typically this other journo hasn't taken the time to notice this, or considered that some people take slanderous, and ridiculously untrue comments seriously.

February 20, 2003: Toyah & 'Calamity Jane' in Southend On Sea/Essex
Toyah in EssexToyah is in Southend-On-Sea this week, at the Cliff's Pavilion. She was also featured in 'Essex News' yesterday...

Toyah puts Ray on Cloud Nine

Ray Ruthven was today on Cloud Nine after meeting his idol Toyah Willcox. 

The singer and actress is cracking whips as Calamity Jane at the Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff. 

Ray, 59, of Oakleigh Park Drive, Leigh, has been a fan since Toyah stunned the country with her outrageous punk styles. 

He has followed her career since she topped the charts with I Wanna Be Free in 1981, through her stage acting and television roles, including presenting BBC1's Holiday programme and the Earth Show. 

Ray took his old albums to the theatre in the hope of getting them autographed. Toyah was happy to oblige. 

He said: "I've been a fan for years. When I met her she was lovely. She thanked me for still keeping her records!" 

The musical opened last night and runs until Saturday.

February 20, 2003: Toyah - Music release news...
First the bad news: It's my sad duty to inform you that the new 'Little Tears Of Love' (EP) now WON'T be released on the NMC label. Not sure why but I am sure the CD is still being released.

The good news is that Toyah is hoping to reissue some of her classic albums this coming May. These are likely to be; 'Prostitute', 'Ophelia's Shadow' and '(Take The) Leap'. Possibly more info at toyahwillcox.com soon.

Thanks to Craig Astley for the info.

February 20, 2003: 'Calamity Jane' in Leeds
Calamity in LeedsCalamity Jane is featured at 'The Grand' website in preparation for the show's visit to Leeds...

Calamity Jane
Monday 3rd March - Saturday 8th March

Adapted for the stage by Charles K. Freeman
Music by Sammy Fain, Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster

The film, starring Doris Day, was a classic from the golden age of the Hollywood Musical. Now, Calamity Jane hits the stage as an action-packed, rip-roaring comedy adventure round the Wild West with one of the most witty and hummable scores ever written for a musical.

Calamity Jane stars the legendary Toyah Willcox whose career spans popstardom, film,TV and stage, with lead roles in everything from Taming of the Shrew to Cabaret and Peter Pan.

Featuring such classic songs as: The Deadwood Stage (Whip-crack-Away!), Windy City,The Black Hills of Dakota Secret Love (Academy Award for Best Song and Number 1 in the UK charts).

February 19, 2003: Toyah on TV in February
Urgh! A Music War : Sky Movies 1 - Sunday 23rd February : 3.10am
Personal Passions : BBC Prime - Tuesday 25th February : 3.45am
Under Offer : Challenge TV - Weekdays @ 9.00am & 2.00pm
February 14, 2003: 'Sunday Telegraph Magazine' - Toyah Willcox's Candles
Sunday Telegraph Mag - 9 Feb 03Toyah's old (I think) drawing room was featured in the 'Sunday Telegraph Magazine' at the weekend.

The magazine, in their 'Shortcuts' section, ran a Toyah piece, titled TOYAH WILLCOX'S CANDLES.

Using a picture originally taken for Toyah's interview/photo feature in 'Hello!' magazine, from November 2000, where she is perched on her mantlepiece.

Please click the picture to read the full article.

Many thanks to Paul Lomas for this.

February 14, 2003: Toyah News Bits & Pieces...
Never Mind The Buzzcocks• Toyah, and Rick Wakeman, were the subject of this week's 'Connections' round on Never Mind The Buzzcocks on Monday night (10th Feb). "What is the connection between Toyah and Rick?," Mark Lamarr asked Bill Bailey, someone out of Dr Hook, and someone out of The Datsuns. They actually answered correctly that both have appeared in 'Dictionary Corner' on Countdown. I answered incorrectly that both were born on 18th May (though that is true I think).

• Toyah recently received a mention, alongside Madonna no less, in 'The Independent' newspaper's review of the Cecil Beaton book, 'The Unexpurgated Beaton'...

"I remember the 1980 sale of Cecil Beaton's Wiltshire house. It was subsequently owned by Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox (just as his first retreat is now the residence of Mr and Mrs Guy Ritchie)."

February 14, 2003: 'Little Tears of Love' (EP) '03 - New songs/Video/Tour
Of every detail...The 'Little Tears Of Love' EP, version two, will be released in May on the NMC label. Tracks on the all new CD are thought to be: 

1. Little Tears Of Love, 2. Every Scar (Has A Silver Lining), 3. Troublesome Thing, 4. Something Good, 5. Back To Nature.

This will coincide with a series of gigs in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

There has also been mention of a promo video to accompany the release. No details yet if the artwork will be the same as 2002's EP.

February 14, 2003: 'Captured' - Over 130 "Guesting" captures added
Toyah televisualastic!Finally completed the 'Captured' section. Added over 130 screen caps of Toyah guesting on various TV shows over the past 23 years. 'Captured' now contains almost 300 TV appearances.

New Live picsAlso added another page of Toyah pictures to the Gallery, of the performing live variety. Way back from the mists of time..., well, 1993, '94, and 2002 to be precise.

Huuuuge thanks to Dave Herd, Sabine Bode and Paul Cable who provided them all.

February 14, 2003: 'Calamity Jane' / Toyah - Kent Messenger
Kent Messenger - February 03Toyah was interviewed in the 'Kent Messenger' last week, in their 'What's On?' section...

Calamity is her good fortune

Toyah Willcox is heading to Kent in the musical Calamity Jane. For someone who's not a particular fan of musicals she's having a great time. Michael DeFroand found out why...

The article features Toyah in Calamity, plus a picture from 'The Changeling' Tour in 1982. Calamity Jane played Canterbury last week at the Marlowe Theatre.

Thanks to Richard Featherstone for this. To read the full interview please click the picture.

February 14, 2003: 'Calamity Jane' / Toyah - Southampton Advertiser
Southampton Advertiser - 6 Feb 03Toyah, and Calamity Jane, were in last Thursday's 'Southampton Advertiser'...

Toyah stars as a gun singer
Toyah Willcox and Doris Day might not seem to have much in common.

But the punk singer and actress-turned-TV presenter will be taking on the role made famous by the wholesome Fifties film star when she stars in Calamity Jane at Southampton's Mayflower Theatre this Spring.

Toyah will appear alongside a cast of 18 and a ten-piece orchestra in the classic Wild West musical. You can see Calamity Jane at The Mayflower from April 8 - 12. Box Office: 023 8071 1811.

Many thanks to Andi for this.

February 12, 2003: Toyah @ BBC & 'Top Of The Pops 2' website
TOTP2 Toyah wallpaperAs already mentioned in Toyah's February Webletter, BBCi's Top Of The Pops 2 website now have a Toyah wallpaper available to download and "jazz" up your PC. It's a classic shot from Toyah's second appearance on Top Of The Pops, performing 'It's A Mystery' in 1981, and can be saved in three screen sizes.

There are also wallpapers featuring Dexy's Midnight Runners, Dollar, Thompson Twins, Soft Cell, and a whole host of others from various decades.

BBC Derby - 80s memoriesToyah receives a mention at BBC Derby in their '80s Music Memories' feature. They also include that Toyah wallpaper pic from Top Of The Pops again.

"The 80s were a mish-mash of musical styles, there was certainly something to suit everyone's taste. 

Human League, Toyah and Gary Numan brought with them a new brand of pop inspired by the New Romantic movement in London and a more electronic sound that originated in Germany. For those who fancied something a little darker there were the likes of Bauhaus, The Fall and Joy Division."

TOTP annualsMeanwhile back at the Top Of The Pops 2 website - They are running a feature on retro TOTP annuals.

They say that Toyah appeared in an article in their 1984 annual (main pic - Madness)but I'm sure it was actually the 1983 version (main pic - Sheena Easton). Not that it matters really but don't you hate it when people try to rewrite history? I'm confused enough as it is without Top Of The Pops adding to the mish-mash that is my brain:)

February 5, 2003: 'This Morning' - Toyah interviewed
This Morning - 4th February 03Toyah guested on yesterday's This Morning, interviewed by Fern Britton and Phillip Schofield. 

The interview was fairly brief, though Toyah did manage to cover a number of topics; famously being ripped off, that proposed facelift, a Tibetan burial, and even a little about Calamity Jane.

TW on that unscrupulous manager: "It happened a long time ago. There's a lot of water under the bridge since then. It happens to so many artists anyway. It's possibly one of the best things that happened to me. I found every bank account had been emptied and just had to get out there and work. I was back on my feet in a year."

TW on Michael Jackson and fame: "I was never a megastar like him, but you do live in a different reality, blinkered. You think everything is being done for you, when really quite a lot is going on behind your back that you'd rather wasn't happening."

Toyah on This MorningTW on independence: "The last ten years have been fantastic. I'm independent and in control."

TW on musicals: "I don't know much about musicals. I was in Cabaret about 20 years ago. That was the only musical I've ever done, and I didn't really go and see musicals."

TW on Calamity Jane: "When the, very young, producers turned up with the script of Calamity Jane I said to my agent, 'I think this is a student prank'. They were so young, 22.

We've been on the road for about six months, and it's been a sheer joy. We've just had two sold out weeks in Scotland. We're travelling everywhere."

TW on facelifts: "I'll probably have it when I need it, in about six month's time. I'm considering it but it scares me silly. I had a conversation with a well known casting director on TV, I said, 'What's the consequences of having a facelift?' and she said,' What's the consequences of not. Everyone's having it done'. It's part of the TV generation!"

Fern and Phillip both made it clear to Toyah that they thought she certainly didn't need a facelift.

TW on looking good: "I think when you're really active you look better. I have bad days, when I've been at home for a week, when I don't feel positive about myself. At the moment I'm incredibly active so I feel quite good about how I look in the morning."

TW on funerals: "A Tibetan Sky Burial. I'll never have one because only really sacred people have them."

There you have it. All that was shoehorned into a chat lasting less than six minutes.

February 5, 2003: Toyah, Alasdair, Dustin & Kellie in Edinburgh
Toyah and CJ cast members in Edinburgh
Toyah, Alasdair Harvey (Wild Bill Hickok), Dustin Dubreil (formerly Danny Gilmartin), and Kellie Ryan (Katie Brown) pose for pictures at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh on Tuesday 28th January 03.
February 5, 2003: 'Calamity Jane' - Further tour dates appearing
Calamity Jane in SouthamptonAs rumoured, Calamity Jane will definitely continue to tour the UK after its "final" week in Liverpool at the beginning of April.

Indeed, the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton are advertising, and selling tickets for, the musical the week straight after Liverpool - Tuesday 8th - Saturday 12th April.

Ticketmaster.co.uk are also listing Calamity Jane as playing at The Hippodrome in Bristol, Tues 27th May - Sat 31st May (tickets already on sale), and The Auditorium in Grimsby, Tues 10th June - Sat 14th June (tickets not on sale yet).

Hopefully all the new tour dates will be confirmed officially soon.

Thanks to Paul Cable for the Mayflower programme scan. Thanks also to John for the Ticketmaster info.

February 3, 2003: Toyah's Knee - The new sensation, sweeping the nation!
Toyah's knee - in the papers!Toyah's knee was all over the terrible tabloids in the UK on Saturday. Not literally, of course, just various reports about her onstage "calamity" in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

'The Sun', 'Daily Mirror' and 'Daily Record', among others, all ran the story with various side-splitting headlines - not! CALAMITY PAIN, OO-YAH WIL(L)COX, OO-AH TOYAH, and my favourite, the inspired TOYAH'S KNEE ON BOOM. Surely that must have been thought up by a fan?

The one point all the newspapers agree on is that Toyah is an absolute "trouper". 

Most actresses would have just let the understudy take over, but not Toyah. She was determined not to disappoint everyone who had come to see her as Calamity Jane. I saw the show on Saturday night in Edinburgh and there wasn't any sign atall that she was in any pain or discomfort. 

Another fantastic performance/show to finish off a successful two weeks in Scotland.

Thanks to Alec Kelly and Giddy Gavin:)

February 3, 2003: 'The Stage' - Calamity Jane production news
Garry Kilby takes over the role of Lt Danny Gilmartin, from February 3, in the current touring production of Calamity Jane, which also stars Toyah Willcox. Remaining dates are: January - Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (until Feb 1); February - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (3-8), Civic Theatre, Darlington (10-15), Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea (17-22), Congress Theatre, Eastbourne (24-March 1); March - Grand Theatre, Leeds (3-8), Orchard Theatre, Dartford (10-15), Theatre Royal, Norwich (17-22), Theatre Royal, Nottingham (24-29), Empire Theatre, Liverpool (31-April 1).

NB. Garry Kilby actually took over from Dustin Dubrefuil on Saturday in Edinburgh.

February 3, 2003: Toyah Newsy bits and pieces...
Vacant• This book, 'Vacant' - A Diary Of The Punk Years 1976-79, has been available for a while now but I thought I'd give it a mention as I've only just discovered it.

Toyah is featured in it, with a brilliant pic of her from a 1978 benefit gig. Aside from Toyah, there are also some excellent pics of Siouxsie, Sex Pistols, Jordan and many more punk "icons"!

Thanks to Dave Herd.

WIAMWIS 2002 Poll• Toyah figures in the 'Why Is A Mouse When It Spins' website's, recently announced, 2002 Reader's Poll:)

Not only is she a runner-up in Fave Female Singer, but 'Little Tears Of Love' has made it as one of the Best Singles of 2002 (and to think it isn't even released until May 03!).

Wunderbar! - Go check out the poll at this excellently hilarious site by clicking the pic.

February 1, 2003: 'Calamity Jane' & Toyah in Scotland
Bye Bye Scotland!Calamity Jane's final Scottish performance takes place tonight in Edinburgh. A brilliant way to end Toyah's, and Calamity's, hugely successful two-week visit to Scotland - A fantastic review of the show in Thursday's 'Edinburgh Evening News'...

A vivid and vivacious performance from Toyah Willcox gets what could be a dead wood touring production of Calamity Jane cracking along and puts it firmly on the premier stage. 

It’s a real pleasure to see this charming performer lift her cast in such a generous and spirited manner. And even if this production has been on tour for a while, there’s no clue that it might be tired or lacking energy in any way. 

Read the full version of the review by clicking 'Edinburgh Evening News' beautiful front page Toyah pic.

Last Monday's 'Metro' newspaper also featured a Calamity Jane article.

Metro: 27th January - From the Wild West End

What is it with Britain and pop stars with speech defects? Long before G-G-Gareth and will-o'-the-lisp Will Young, Toyah Willcox proved that thounding thlightly different from the norm needn't be a drawback to a successful recording career. Or an acting one, come to that.

Depending on your age, Toyah is best known for playing the part of Mad in Derek Jarman's seminal punk epic Jubilee, modette Monkey in Quadrophenia or Aunt Boomerang in the kids TV series of the same name.

That or flitting between flesh and the spirit presenting The Good Sex Guide or Sunday morning Godsquad series Heaven And Earth.

But it's in the guise of cross-dressing, whip-crack-away tomboy cowpoke Calamity Jane that Toyah will be making her way north of the border in Ed Curtis's touring stage version of the Warner Bros 1953 movie hit.

Back then, it was Doris Day who stole the thunder as a chapess in chaps in the black hills of Dakota, turning herself into a lesbian icon in the process. And while Willcox is no Doris Day, there's no reason to think she can't still pack a punch (or slap a thigh, come to that) for all she's worth. She's certainly in good company with Alasdair Harvey, a Scottish star of the West End, along for the ride on the Deadwood Stage as Wild Bill Hickok.

Promising acres of tap-dancing, floozies, quarts and quarts of bar-room shenanigans and plenty of kitsch-n-sink domestic trimmings and lilting log cabin whimsy in the form of A Woman's Touch, Calamity Jane may be thin on plot but it is bursting to the seams with good natured hokum.

And while there may be more than a little artistic licence at play in portraying how the West - and Hickok's heart - was won, it's the sort of sharp shooting cornball that wears its heart on its cowboy shirt with pride.

Many thanks to Giddy Gavin for these:)

February 1, 2003: 'The Sun' - Alasdair Harvey talks Toyah
The Sun - 31st January 03Alasdair Harvey, aka as Wild Bill Hickok, was interviewed in yesterday's 'The Sun'.

It's easy making sparkys fly with Toyah...

The interview turns to Toyah around half way through: "In his latest on-stage spectacular, Alasdair plays Wild Bill Hickok - who tugs the heart strings of Calamity Jane, played by 80s icon Toyah.

During the show tiny Toyah is hurled around stage as the fastest-shootin', quickest-drawin' hardest-fightin gal in the West.

And Alasdair admitted she amazed him with her levels of energy and enthusiasm.

He said: "She's like a flying bullet. She throws herself around the stage all the time without giving it a second thought. She's constantly tumbling and falling off the bar into guys' arms, which is great fun.

"In once scene I have to grab her and push her around but I try not to be too rough.

"A lot of her hits were out when I was a teenager and I was brought up with Toyah's music so I'm not about to be rough with her.

"We do end up getting together as a couple right at the end but it's not all lovey-dovey until the very last minute.

"Calamity Jane just isn't like that and that's what makes it so good - it all just clicks into place.

Thanks to Alec Kelly for alerting me to this interview.

February 1, 2003: Toyah's leg grabs the headlines...
Bill Danny Katie and JaneMy Glasgow Toyah pal Alec went to see Calamity Jane in Edinburgh on opening night last Tuesday. He emailed me later to say Toyah had hurt her leg while onstage. Little did we know it would eventually make the headlines...

Edinburgh Evening News: 31st January - Toyah avoids calamity at battle of wounded knee
As gun-toting Wild West cowgirl Calamity Jane, she is used to taking the rough with the smooth. The feisty gun-slinger simply shrugs off shoot-outs with outlaws and dusts herself down after bar-room brawls. 

But 80s pop star Toyah Willcox had to deal with a real-life calamity while she was on stage during the musical’s opening night in the Capital. As she leapt about the stage of the Festival Theatre, cracking her whip and belting out the musical’s popular numbers, the 44-year-old actress dislocated her knee. 

Read the full interview by clicking the pic.

Daily Record: 1st February - Calamity Pain - Toyah stages remarkable recovery
Singer Toyah Willcox faced a real calamity when she dislocated her knee playing cowgirl Calamity Jane.

But the former punk icon stuck to "the show must go on" adage.

Toyah, 44, simply nipped backstage, had her knee clicked into place and continued with the show.

The opening night audience at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre were totally unaware of the drama. And last night a theatre spokeswoman said: "It is amazing. Toyah was determined not to disappoint her audience by limping off stage.

"So she went off just long enough for her knee to be popped back in. It must have been very painful, but she didn't show anything was wrong. She was very professional."

Toyah shot to fame in 1977 punk film Jubilee and with her 1980s chart hit I Wanna Be Free. She has battled the knee problem throughout her life after being born with a spinal curvature. She once dismissed the condition as "just meaning I crack a lot". And she didn't let it prevent her taking the action-packed role of gun-toting Jane.

In the show she is flung around, hoisted up and tripped over. It is understood she warned back-stage first-aiders of her problem and had arranged a signal for them to whisk her off stage if necessary.

February 1, 2003: 'Romford Recorder' - Plain talking Jane
Romford RecorderToyah is interviewed in the 'Romford Recorder' this week. Toyah and Calamity Jane visit Southend On Sea in mid February.

The interview, another Calamity filled chat, was done this week while TW was in Edinburgh.

February 1, 2003: Toyah on 'This Morning' - Tuesday 4th February
Toyah guests on This Morning next Tuesday morning, 4th Feb, 10.30 am - ITV1

Magazine show presented by Fern Britton and Phillip Schofield. With advice from Dr Raj Persaud, soap gossip from Jaci Stephen, and childcare advice. With special guest Toyah Willcox.