Dreamscape: A Toyah Willcox Fansite [www.toyah.net] : somewhere in the distance : archived Toyah news for the month of Nov 2002

November 29, 2002: Toyah - Yet More Newsy Bits & Pieces!
• Interesting news from www.toyahwillcox.com - Toyah is featured in this Saturday's 'The Mail' newspaper in a piece entitled "Toyah Revealed"!

• Toyah was briefly mentioned on Celebrity Big Brother last weekend. The housemates held an '80s party and dressed up accordingly. Melinda Messenger kept telling Sue Perkins she looked like a popstar to which Sue replied "Toyah"! I actually think she looked like, and MM was meaning, Toni Basil!!

• Phil Spalding, one-time bass player in the Toyah band, plays on Robbie Williams new album 'Escapology', number one in the UK album charts this week.

Thanks to Colin Dew-Parry for the info.

November 29, 2002: 25th Anniversary Commemorative Album of Safari Records 
The Safari retrospective compilation CD, mentioned here a few months back, is now available. It features two Toyah tracks, 'Danced' (which rightly opens the compilation)and 'Thunder In The Mountains', and is available at Amazon, priced 7.99.

Full tracklisting as follows:

1. Danced - Toyah 
2. Eddie And Sheena - County, Wayne & The Electric Chairs
3. Terminal Love - Boys
4. Ruby - Gary Holton
5. Scatterlings Of Africa - Juluka
6. I Found A Woman - Glenn Hughes
7. My Life's A Jigsaw - Purple Hearts
8. Strength Of The Nation - Teenbeats
9. I Will Return - English Evenings
10. Berlin - County, Wayne & The Electric Chairs
11. You Better Move On - Boys
12. Doctor - Blood Donor
13. Close up - Those French Girls
14. Hit And Run - Weapon Of Peace
15. Impi - Juluka
16. Thunder In The Mountains - Toyah
17. Dolly Parton's Tits - MacLean & MacLean
18. Battle Of The Warrington - Yobs
19. Fuck Off - County, Wayne & The Electric Chairs

November 29, 2002: Old Friends And New Faces - Norfolk Press
The Theatre Royal, Norwich announces its new season of shows today, encompassing a rich kaleidoscope of talent.

From exciting new productions to familiar faces, and some of the biggest West End successes in recent years, the Theatre Royal has them all.

Household names like Nigel Havers, Toyah Willcox and Norfolk-based actor Roger Lloyd-Pack will appear over the next few months. Other favourites include Stephen Fry, Jethro, Harry Hill and Julian Clary. And there are new shows too - including Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker.

Theatre Royal spokesman Jane Walsh said: "It is a very strong season, with productions that are big and solid. In addition to the tried and tested shows there are also three big new productions from companies that we know well and trust." 

The award-winning comedy Art, starring Nigel Havers, Roger Lloyd-Pack and Leigh Lawson, is on from February 24 to March 1.

A Broadway and West End hit, it was a huge success on its last visit to Norwich in 2000 with Havers, Lloyd-Pack, and Barry Foster.

For younger theatregoers, there's the Adventures of Paddington Bear from March 3 to 5.

Then actress and former punk Toyah Willcox takes the lead role in Calamity Jane from March 17 to 22.

Source : Norfolk Eastern Daily Press

November 23, 2002: 'Brilliant Day' - Let's celebrate 25 Years Of Toyah in '03!!
Brilliant Day 2003Thanks so much to everyone who has shown interest in celebrating 25 years of Toyah in 2003.

BRILLIANT DAY - 25 Years Of Toyah (changed from Toyah's Silver Jubilee), so long as enough people want to attend, will definitely be happening. So please, if you can make it to Stoke, late February (either a Saturday or Sunday) then let me know and I'll add your name to the list (see below).

The info that's available so far, though obviously could change, is as follows:

A 'Brilliant Day' of Toyah fun, celebration and partying for Toyah fans/followers old & new, young, young at heart, and not-so-young - sometime late February 2003 at 'The Club' in Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent (generously provided by John - aka Ruby). Possibly in conjunction with the release of the new "Little Tears Of Love" EP and even a possibility that Carlton TV may film a part of their new Toyah documentary on the day too (NB - Both of these are definitely NOT confirmed to happen as yet).

Anyone wishing to buy, sell, trade or swap Toyah memoribilia is welcome to bring it along to do so during the day. We are hoping to be showing retro Toyah TV appearances all day too. A Toyah impersonator, or a Toyah lookey likey competition, or both, will take place early evening. 

The day will end with a party, Toyah sounds aplenty, interspersed with lots of other '80s classics. Eighties pop star fancy dress is optional but hopefully some folks will rise to the challenge! It would be good to see Toyah, Adam Ant, Siouxsie, Madonna etc shaking their thang on the dancefloor:)

Susan Hailes from 'The Stage' is hoping to get us a few column inches to spread the word and maybe a few other papers/websites will help out too.

Stoke bound so far - David, John, Carl, Craig, Dan Greensmith, Paul & Sue Richards, Alec & friends, Richard, Brian, Paul Cable & friends, Michael O'Brien, Kev Tucker & friends, Claire Ormrod & friends, Dean Warren, Jonathan Benson, Steve Bennett, Karen Wadsworth, Roger & Shaun, Russell Eden, Sean, Anya, Dave Gilchrist...

More information soon.

November 23, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' - The Stage & Rogues And Vagabonds
The StageToyah, and Calamity Jane, are featured on 'The Stage' website this week, with info about the second leg of the musical's tour. The paragraph is in the "Tour News" section and a publicity still of Toyah as Jane is also included.

The info is the same as that which was included in the print version earlier this week (see below - November 19, 2002: Toyah - More Newsy Bits & Pieces! - for full text).

Many thanks to Online Content Manager, of The Stage, who not only let me know about this but was responsible for getting the Calamity pic on The Stage website in the first place - bravo!

Rogues And VagabondsNews of the second leg also reaches 'Rogues & Vagabonds' this week...

The recently launched tour of Calamity Jane from Tristan Baker Productions in association with Northampton Theatres, and starring Toyah Willcox, has had 11 new dates added. The show played at the Birmingham Alex last week and will return in the New Year after a break, opening at the King's Theatre in Glasgow on January 1st. Dates to follow include Edinburgh, Canterbury, Darlington, Southen-on-Sea, Eastbourne, Leeds, Dartford, Norwich, Nottingham and Liverpool. Ed Curtis directs. 

November 23, 2002: Toyah @ 'Remember The Eighties'
Toyah is featured in the News at 'Remember The Eighties' this week...

Toyah has confirmed that she has been approached by the makers of the forthcoming Celebrity Pop Idol show that takes UK stars from the eighties and nineties to the USA to perform in front of US audiences with no preconceptions of their careers to date. Toyah also knows that Marillion's former frontman has been approached. Toyah, who is currently in the middle of a very successful touring production of Calamity Jane, has also recorded a number of new tracks for an ep 'Little Tears Of Love' due for release in February next year.


November 22, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' riding into London? - Wires Crossed?
Ooops! - Thanks to Craig, webmaster @ www.toyahwillcox.com, for letting me know that the story immediately below is complete pants (my description, not his). No press call happened and there's been no decision on whether Calamity Jane will transfer to London after its' regional tour.

Wire Image seem to have their wires crossed (geddit?) somewhere. Not sure where the three pictures of Toyah, looking very gorgeous, on their website originate from either.

November 20, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' riding into London?
Calamity press call - 13 Nov 02According to "Wire Image", Toyah, plus three other Calamity Jane cast members, appeared at a press call last Wednesday (13th November) in Birmingham to announce that CJ will open in London after the second leg of its' UK tour in 03.

Apparently this picture was taken at said press call.

November 20, 2002: Two differing 'Calamity' Birmingham reviews
CJ Birmingham brochureReviews Gate - Brighten up your life with a visit to Calamity Jane, and a breath takingly energetic Toyah Willcox.

Fed up with the wet weather? Tired as the dark evenings close in? Suffering from SAD? Then time to brighten up your life with a visit to Calamity Jane. If this sounds a bit like advertising copy, then so be it! But this has to be the feel-good show to end feel-good shows. 

A great ensemble performance but a huge portion of success has to be owed to the breath-takingly energetic performance from Toyah Willcox as Jane: frankly I don't know how she sustains the pace. And whether she's jumping on a bar counter, being tossed in a blanket or swinging upside-down from rafters Wilcox's Jane is so engaging she charms you out of your seat. This Jane seems to take a nave joy in the world around her from which her extravagant story-telling stems quite naturally. Importantly this vivacious character is not subjugated into a girly, mawkish marriage at the end. Wilcox appears in an extremely elegant trouser suit: you sense her marriage to Bill Hickok will be a partnership. Full marks to Wilcox and director Ed Curtis for offering this more acceptable ending to us.

Alasdair Harvey's Hickok is a good pairing for this Jane. He's tough, no doubt about it, but not ridiculously macho: we never lose sight of a real person. Harvey has a warm and friendly singing voice, too, specially in his lower registers. Jane's and Bill's revelation about their mutual love is a danger area, a potential trap of clockwork plotting and comedic convenience. But the pair pull it off superbly letting us believe it's the most natural thing in the world.

It's a pleasure to hear so many famous songs in context, none more so than Black Hills Of Dakota, a welcome quiet moment before the final run, Dustin Dubreuil's (Lt Gilmartin) dark, rich voice suiting it perfectly.

The whole is directed with welcome wit by Ed Curtis who has cleansed the show of sentimental overload (I love the scene where Jane tends Gilmartin's wound). A great partnership with designer Simon Higlett who has created a flexible set with humour (little houses to sit on – lovely.)

Thanks to Alec Kelly for sending me the Birmingham Calamity Jane souvenir brochure from which the above picture collage is taken. Check back to Dreamscape soon for a revamped Calamity Jane section...

BBC BirminghamBBCi Birmingham - Athletic Calamity lacks magic - Reviewed by Felicity Arblaster

The west may be wild but is it entertaining? Calamity Jane, starring Toyah Willcox is at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until Saturday 16th November. Felicity Arblaster paid a visit to Deadwood.

Calamity Jane is a star vehicle, it's a musical which stands or falls on the performance of it's central character, and while Toyah Willcox proved to be a highly athletic and animated 'Calamity', she lacked the emotional vulnerability and vocal range the part requires.

There is however, plenty to enjoy about the production. The musical tells of her exploits as a hard-drinking, gunslinging frontierswoman who's taught a few home truths by the man she loves.

Deadwood, South Dakota is created by using a stylised, versatile set which includes excellent lighting effects, and an imaginative use of models and flats. 

Calamity, as played by Toyah Willcox, is a rough and ready tomboy who loves spinning tall tales. I would have preferred her to have looked a little more dirty and scruffy, as frontier towns probably lacked decent laundries. But she certainly bounced around the set with great enthusiasm using the bar and rafters of Miller's saloon to great effect. 

Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity's sparring partner (and husband) is played with real panache by Alasdair Harvey, whose singing was, for me, the highlight of the show. Indeed praise must go to the whole company for the ensemble songs and dance routines. 

My particular favourite was the number Adelaid, which featured the men of Deadwood mooning over a cigarette card idol, Adelaid Adams. Their harmony work and choreographed pinnings, complete with glitter-ball lighting effect made me smile. 

It's precisely because the rest of the cast sang so well that Toyah's vocal range seemed limited in comparison. She coped with songs like Careless with the Truth, and was fine with her lower register but seemed to have trouble changing gear for the higher notes, Secret Love proving the most difficult and least successful of her numbers. 

Katie Brown, the girl who is transformed from downtrodden maid to singing vamp, complete with fishnets and scarlet corset was confidently played by Kellie Ryan, and Dustin Dubreuil looked every inch the dashing Army Lieutenant. 

The feel of a wild west frontier town, where the fastest gun made the law, and civilisation was a railroad and coach ride away was certainly created by this production. It was, sadly, just a little lacking in magic.

November 20, 2002: Toyah is 9th most successful Brum musician
Birmingham Evening Mail - No.1 In Ten, by Andy Coleman

Birmingham reggae stars UB40 are top of the pops as the most successful West Midland chart act ever, according to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles.

The band from Balsall Heath have spent 331 weeks in the UK singles chart, beating off their closest rivals Slade who enjoyed 279 weeks in the charts. UB40's most successful song is (I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You which reached number one in May 1993 and stayed on the chart for 16 weeks. Their first hit, King/ Food For Thought, was in 1980 and since then they have had almost 50 UK chart entries.

The top ten Midland acts was compiled to mark this week's 50th anniversary of the UK singles chart.

Also in the top ten are Electric Light Orchestra, led by Shard End-born Jeff Lynne, at number three (225 weeks) and Dexy's Midnight Runners, led by Kevin Rowland from Wolverhampton, at number seven (93 weeks).

Edgbaston-born Toyah Willcox, currently starring as Calamity Jane at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre, is at number nine after spending 87 weeks in the charts.

Her 1981 chart debut, the Four From Toyah EP featuring It's A Mystery, Revelations, War Boys and Angels and Demons, was her most successful, reaching number four and spending 14 weeks in the top 50.

November 19, 2002: Toyah - More Newsy Bits & Pieces!
• The previously mentioned, The Last Of The Mohicans, docu in which Toyah appeared was shown on Meridian (ITV1) on Sunday 17th November at 2pm.

Thanks again to Dean Stockings for the info.

Toyah is featured in news stories in this week's The Stage, British Theatre Guide, Newcastle Journal and IC Birmingham

• Toyah Willcox continues to star in Calamity Jane, when it starts the second leg of its UK tour in the new year. From January you can see the show at: King's Theatre, Glasgow (20-25), Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (27-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); April - Empire Theatre, Liverpool (1-May 3).

Source - The Stage (Tour News)

• Calamity Jane: New Tour Dates Announced - The touring production of Calamity Jane, starring Toyah Wilcox, has announced visits to a further eleven venues, starting at Glasgow on 20th January, going on to Edinburgh, Canterbury, Darlington, Southend, Eastbourne, Leeds, Dartford, Norwich, Nottingham and, finally, Liverpool, where it finishes on 3rd May.

Source - British Theatre Guide

• Calf their name with pride - The Book of Baby Names is well thumbed in the Nattress household...as it is referred to at every calving season.

Each year Lanchester farmer Ian Nattress has about 60 calves to name, and to make the task even harder all the calves' names have to start with the same letter, depending on what year it is. This year it is T.

This year, Ian has named calves after film star Tia Carrera, pop stars Toyah and Tiffany, and Tarzan. He's even gained inspiration from Songs of Praise with Thora (Hird/Herd?) another addition in his herd book.

Source - Newcastle Journal

• Macca's girl to create wildlife haven - Stella's father and mother, the late Linda McCartney, were both keen environmentalists who brought their children up on a rural estate in Sussex.

The designer is one of the several showbiz personalities who have bought up a slice of increasingly popular Worcestershire.

Toyah Willcox lives near Pershore, violinist Nigel Kennedy has a home in Malvern and Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant lives near Bewdley.

Source - IC Birmingham

November 15, 2002: 'WebUser' Magazine - A treat for Toyah fans
Web User - 14 Nov 02At the risk of entering the "scene that celebrates itself!" territory (as if I would:), Dreamscape has been the subject of its' own little piece of Toyah news this week.

Web User magazine has bestowed the honour WebUser - Seal Of Approval on this site in the latest issue (number 44, 14 - 27 November 2002) of the UK's best-selling internet publication.

The mag, full of useful internet advice and info, is available at all "good newsagents". A snip at 99p!

November 15, 2002: Toyah - Newsy Bits & Pieces!
Busy Toyah!The update at Toyah's official site, and snippets from her web letter, have confirmed quite a few rumours that have been floating around lately...

• 22 years after the legendary ATV 'Toyah' documentary, Carlton TV are filming a 30 minute docu on Toyah, and her music, in 2002. This is part of the Midland's Musicians series.

• The second 'Little Tears Of Love' EP will be released in February 2003.

• There may be some live Toyah gigs in January.

• A cast recording CD of Calamity Jane may still happen in 2003.

• Toyah has been approached to appear on Celebrity Pop Idol! (Noooo!!)

• There is a possiblity that TW will appear in French & Saunder's Christmas Special. Toyah last appeared on F&S in 1988, singing  'Because The Night' and calling Jennifer and Dawn "bloody morons"!

November 15, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' - Best Musical Nomination
Calamity Jane has been nominated as Best Musical in the Manchester Evening News Awards.

Congratulations to Toyah and the cast. Good luck from Dreamscape:)

November 15, 2002: toyahwillcox.com / Toyah E-News - Updates
Toyah - onstageToyah's official website has been updated and the Toyah E-Newsletter has been delivered to subscribers. 

Oodles of news on Toyah's activities and the latest web letter too. The E-Newsletter subscribers have also received these fantastic E-Flyers promoting Aladdin and Calamity Jane.

November 14, 2002: Toyah On TV - *Update*
Urgh! A Music War : Sky Movies 1 - Sunday 24th November : 1.30am
Documentary film looking at some of the best sounds from the early 80s, with punk, new wave, reggae and techno represented by contemporary groups such as Wall of Voodoo, Sting, Toyah Willcox, Belinda Carlisle and OMD.
My Favourite Hymns : ITV 1 - Sunday 24th November : 11.00am
My Favourite Hymns : ITV 1 - Monday 25th November : 2.35am
Singer and actress Toyah Willcox chooses her favourite hymns and talks to John Stapleton about her renegade teenage years, overcoming physical disability and the part faith plays in her life. Plus a celebration of Youth Sunday with the Reverend Anne Kennedy at Lancaster Cathedral.
Awash With Colour : BBC 2 (Northern Ireland) - Wednesday 27th November : 1.20pm
Dermot Cavanagh presents a mix of painting tuition and travelogue. He and Toyah Willcox set out to paint Glencar Loch in County Sligo. He then meets local artist Cormac O'Leary.
Under Offer : Challenge TV - Twice Daily Weekdays : 7.00am/2.00pm
Yvette Fielding hosts the game show in which celebrities and their captains try to out-guess each other on the value of properties. Team captains, as ever, are Toyah Willcox and Fred Dinenage. 
November 10, 2002: Toyah's 'Silver Jubilee' in 2003?
Toyah's Silver JubileeNext year is, albeit completely unofficial, Toyah's "Silver Jubilee"!

'What are you talking about?', I hear you holler!

Well, in 1978 things started "happening" for TW - big style. Her music, film, theatre and television careers all seemed to conspire to ensure she got very little sleep that year!

The Toyah band finally took shape - in the form of Joel Bogen on guitar, Steve Bray on drums, Pete Bush on keyboards and Mark Henry on bass (though very soon replaced by Charlie Francis), and, of course, Toyah on vocals/verbals/strange noises! They appeared on their first TV show too, Pebble Mill At One and soon-after signed to Safari Records.

Jubilee opened in UK and European cinemas in '78, and Toyah spent a chunk of the year filming The Corn Is Green and Quadrophenia for the big screen and Quatermass for the small.

So 2003 really is, technically at least, the 25th anniversary of Toyahdom!

Thanks to Robbie and Deano over at Angels & Demons I've had an idea:) A one-day Toyah convention to celebrate this important landmark. I'm mentioning it now so that everyone has plenty of time to decide whether this is a good idea, where (Ruby's - Stoke?) and when (Toyah's 45th birthday or  Summer 2003?) it could take place, and if they want to attend.

A rough guide to 'Toyah's Jubilee' Convention:

• During the day - memoribila stalls, Toyah items - buy, sell, trade?
• Early evening - lookalike competition or Toyah impersonator?
• Night - Big party, 80s Popstar fancy-dress (Thanks Brian;), wall-to-wall Toyah sounds!

Other suggestions, so far, include a charity auction, competitions, Toyah footage video-wall, live performances by the lookalikes (soundalikes - 'Stars In Their Ieya's').

Now at present this is all totally hypothetical but also completely possible. What does everyone else think? A good idea?, crap idea?, too tacky? Please contribute or make suggestions. If this is to become a reality then it would be fantastic to get as many Toyah fans (UK, Europe, US, everywhere) as possible to attend.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to help make this happen. Please email me by clicking on the picture

November 9, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' - Update
Calamity Jane visits Birmingham this week for the final batch of performances of the musical's first leg. The second leg of the tour starts in Glasgow, w/b 20th January 2003. The reviews for the show have been unanimously positive and Toyah has been quoted as saying Calamity is "the highlight of my career"!

Meanwhile, yet more coverage for the show:

Toyah is lead in top musical

The Vale's own Toyah Willcox stars in a new production of Calamity Jane at the Alexandra Theatre. 

Wyre Piddle resident and former pop star Ms Willcox takes the lead in the comedy musical at the Birmingham venue from next Tuesday for a four-night run from next Tuesday. 

It promises to be an action-packed, rip-roaring roller coaster of a show, featuring many classic songs, including The Deadwood Stage, Windy City, The Black Hills of Dakota and Secret Love, which won as Oscar for Best Original Song. 

Source - This Is Evesham

November 7, 2002: Toyah interview - South Devon Herald Express

Su Carroll talks to an ex-punk star stepping into Doris Day's shoes

Toyah adds danger to Calamity Jane role

THE Deadwood Stage is coming on over the hill, and on board is Toyah Willcox - playing the title role in a brand new production of Calamity Jane.

The story is based on a real life character, Martha Jane Cannary who was born in 1852, and dressed, drank and fought like a man.

The musical was popular as an Oscar-winning film starring Doris Day and features such classic songs as The Deadwood Stage, Windy City, Black Hills of Dakota and Secret Love.

As you would expect with Toyah involved, this version will be different. "It's much more real and much more gritty," explains Toyah.

"It's a young company and it's a very high energy production. We've tried to put the sense of danger back into it which was taken away in the 1950s when Calamity Jane was given a kind of housewife image.

"Death was a daily occurrence where the only law was the law of the gun. Only two people on stage carry a gun - me and Wild Bill - and both of us kill people.

"It's a community where anarchy can break out at any time and we've made the fights much more real - they're not a comedy stage fight."

Toyah admits that this dash of realism does surprise audiences who are expecting a typical musical.

"It is difficult to portray and it would be easy to slip in to doing a 'nice musical' but the music becomes a real celebration of life and is much more poignant."

It's not known whether the real Calamity Jane had a romantic relationship with Wild Bill Hickock, as she does in the show, but the story goes that she made a deathbed request to be buried beside him.

The story is set in Deadwood, a typical wild west town in Dakota where Indian scout Calamity Jane, is as hard-riding, gun-toting and as boastful as any man on the prairie.

She puts her reputation on the line when she promises to bring a famous singing star all the way from Chicago to the Golden Garter Saloon. But the new, and very feminine, arrival provides competition for the affections of the town's two most eligible cowboys, the dashing Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin and fast drawing Wild Bill Hickock.

"She was remarkable - she dressed like a man and was a scout for the army," says Toyah. "She led a dangerous life and survived.

"The musical was written as a vehicle for Doris Day and was a celebration of the role women played during the Second World War.

"I have taken things from the Doris Day production - like the arrangements for Secret Love. We just play that moment. The rest of the play is very fast and very aggressive."

Toyah has enjoyed a wide range of roles from films like Jubilee and Quadrophenia, stage shows like Cabaret and Peter Pan and a host of television programmes including Teletubbies as well as a career in punk rock music. But she is in no doubt about the significance of Calamity Jane: "It's the highlight of my career."

November 7, 2002: Toyah interview - This Is South Devon

Toyah, one of the wilder children of punk? Get away. She's had a sheltered life, really.

At least, that's what she says. While other punkmeisters were messing themselves up with serious drink and drug habits, poor old Toyah would sit in hotel rooms and ask herself "where are all the orgies?".

Amazing. She had an eight-year career as a pop star and never once joined the space cadet fraternity. For "I Want to be Free", read "I want to marry Robert Fripp but hardly ever see him and spend almost my entire adult life on the road".

Since 1987 Toyah's been back on stage and screen, where in fact she belongs. Now 44, she wanted to be a performer from the age of seven and by 18 was on stage at the National Theatre. By 20, she was cutting her first album, Sheep farming in Barnet.

She's always preferred being an actor to being a pop star, though. "I liked going back into the theatre because there, people aren't interested in you only as an ego, someone who has to perform all the time. In the theatre you're part of a team.

"I'm much happier with that."

Toyah was one of those overnight stars, with massive hits such as I Want to Be Free in 1981. This was in the days, too, when celebrity was different. People wouldn't just say to their friends "oh, look, there goes Angus Deayton" and turn back to their cappuccinos, like they do now.

"Pink hair was just not done in those days. People would see me from 100 yards away and just know it was me. Back then people used to go bonkers over celebrities. I'd be in a car at a set of traffic lights and get mobbed. I'm not complaining, but from being anonymous, within 24 hours everywhere I went I'd see my picture."

Unlike other stars, though, there weren't any skeletons in her closet to fall rattling on to the front pages of the tabloids. "I haven't slept with any prostitutes and I haven't raped anyone, I'm afraid.

"The tabloids would have to be pretty desperate to run anything on me. I'm amazed at what a charmed life I led, because all my friends were having a riot. I was very protected. It was almost a chaste life. I ended up thinking: "How did all that pass me by? Where were all the orgies? After a show I would be just put in a car and taken to a hotel."

She's been an inspiration to famed art house film director Derek Jarman, though. Toyah was in his films Jubilee and The Tempest. "It was lovely because Derek treated me like a muse. It was the only time I ever experienced that. I knew little about Shakespeare and I was ready to turn down the part of Miranda in The Tempest.

"Derek taught me so much about Shakespeare, about his obscure references. It was fascinating and I wish we'd learnt that sort of stuff at school."

Now, 15 years after returning to the stage at the Birmingham Rep, she's playing Calamity Jane in a tour. "This isn't a sequinned production. We've tried to make it gritty."

Very different from the fragrant Doris Day, then. "I identify with the real Calamity Jane, who lived around 1850, because her pioneer spirit was more remarkable than anything that's come since.

"She survived by pretending to be mad. She was right on the frontier at a time when the Indians were fighting the Americans, but the Indians left her alone because they thought she was crazy."

Calamity Jane is based on the hard-drinking, tough-talking exploits of the real-life Martha Jane Cannary. Calamity, which includes classics such as The Deadwood Stage, Windy City, The Black Hills of Dakota and Secret Love is, of course, highly fictionalised.

But the flavour of Martha is still there. Toyah, whose name comes from an Indian tribe, has the same free spirit. She's been married to former King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp for 17 years but the couple have no children and often pass like ships in the night. "I've been on the road for 25 years and that's how I like it, so having children doesn't interest me.

"Robert and I tend to meet in hotels in exotic locations, which is why we're still together. Neither of us can bear being at home." Even when that home was until recently the beautiful former Wiltshire residence of photographer Cecil Beaton.

Performing and touring, being part of a team. That's the way she likes it. That makes Torquay the luckier, because the wind blows Toyah to the Princess Theatre from November 5 to 9.

November 7, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' - Hull Daily Mail Review

Calamity Jane at Hull New Theatre - She's a whip-cracking, all singing, gun slinging heroine - and sometimes she can be a bit grumpy when she doesn't get her own way.

But for all her foibles, Calamity Jane wins our hearts with her tomboy style and mean line in insults.

Calamity fans will remember the huge white smile and beautiful voice of Doris Day, when she first brought the character to life on the Hollywood screen alongside Howard Keel as Wild Bill Hicock. But the surprisingly diminutive Toyah Willcox proved more than a match in a hugely energetic performance on stage at Hull New Theatre as part of a national tour which can be seen in Hull until November 2.

The star, who had hits in the early 80s with songs such as It's A Mystery, apparently does three hours of aerobics each day. And she'd certainly need it to be fit enough for this role. Calamity not only swings from the rafters while singing at the top of her voice, she rides on the top of the Deadwood stagecoach and wrestles with her cowboy friends before heading out to do battle with an Indian war party.

The character she plays is based on real-life Wild West cowgirl Martha Jane Cannary, who lived in the 1900s and was nicknamed Calamity Jane because trouble followed her everywhere.

The sell-out first night saw the Wild West brought to life in true cowboy style, complete with sarsaparilla and frilly-skirted dancing girls. The tale begins when a somewhat over-confident Calamity boasts to her Deadwood friends that she can coax a huge singing star all the way from the windy city of Chicago to perform for them.

But, unsurprisingly, all does not go according to plan, and Calam ends up with egg on her face when the regulars at the Golden Garter saloon realise her "star" is not quite what was promised. However, her bruised ego is soothed by her newfound friend, aspiring singing star Katie Brown, and they soon set up home together.

All is calm - that is until Calam, who has undergone something of a transformation under Katie's feminine influence, realises she now has a rival for the affections of the dashing Lieutenant Danny Gillmartin and fast-drawing cowboy Wild Bill Hicock.

It's a pretty good tale, but that's not what makes Calamity Jane so engaging - it's the colourful characters, thigh slapping dance routines and cracking tunes - including the Oscar winning Secret Love.

Toyah turns in a dynamic performance as Calamity, a character whose unbelievably tall tales of courageous acts and endless streams of insults only make her more loveable.

She is supported by an excellent cast in a show which is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face.

November 6, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' - In Torquay & Birmingham
Toyah Willcox stars in a brand new production of Calamity Jane, visiting the Princess Theatre on its nationwide tour. Calamity Jane is an action-packed rollercoaster of a show, featuring one of the most witty and memorable scores ever written. Its classic songs include The Deadwood Stage, Windy City, The Black Hills of Dakota and Secret Love, which won an Oscar for Best Original Song.

Deadwood, Dakota Territory, is a typical Wild West town where men are cowboys and women are clean-living, wholesome gals. That is, apart from gun-toting Indian scout Calamity Jane, who is as hard-riding and boastful as any man on the prairie. Tough-talking Jane puts her reputation on the line when she promises to bring a famous singing star all the way from Chicago to Dakota's Golden Garter Saloon. The dainty chanteuse and hardbitten hero become the best of friends, until Jane realises she may have a rival for the affections of the town's two most eligible cowboys.

Toyah Willcox returns to the stage to play Calamity Jane, a role immortalised on the Hollywood screen by Doris Day. Toyah, one of Britain's biggest household names, has had a highly varied and successful career, with major hit records, frequent television appearances and many prestigious stage and screen roles in productions as diverse as The Taming of the Shrew, Cabaret, and Peter Pan.

Calamity Jane has been adapted for the stage by Charles K Freeman, with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. This new production is directed by Ed Curtis, designed by Simon Higlett, choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood with lighting design by James Whiteside, sound design by Autograph and musical direction by Peter White. 

Source - This Is South Devon

IC BirminghamThe classic 1953 Hollywood musical starring Doris Day and Howard Keel is revived with none other than Brum's former punk starlet Toyah Willcox donning the suede and brandishing a six-shooter.

Featuring the classic songs The Deadwood Stage, Windy City, The Black Hills of Dakota and the Oscar winning smash Secret Love, Calamity Jane centres around Calamity's effort to save Deadwood's entertainment venue, The Golden Garter, from ruin by bringing the singing star, Adelaide Adams, to perform there.

Calamity promises the patrons of the Garter that she will personally bring the stunning Miss Adams back from Chicago, but accidentally returns with her star struck maid, Katie.

Posing as Adelaide, local heart-throbs Lt. Danny Gillmartin and Wild Bill Hickock both immediately take a shine to 'Miss Adams', but her impersonation is less than perfect...

This is the first major UK tour of the show since Barbara Windsor took on the lead back in 1979.

Toyah Willcox shot to prominence in 1977 with Derek Jarman's seminal punk movie, Jubilee. Scoring a string of major chart hits in the '80s, she has continued to balance her musical and acting careers. Her recent TV work includes narration for Brum and The Teletubbies.

Expect much thigh-slapping, shouting of "darn-it", and some crowd pleasing tunes.

Source - IC Birmingham

Birmingham ArtsBirmingham's own Toyah Willcox is starring in a new production of the classic comedy musical Calamity Jane. The show whip cracks it way to the Alexandra Theatre on 10th November.

Calamity Jane is an action packed, rip-roaring roller-coaster of a show with one of the most witty and memorable musical scores ever, featuring many classic songs including, The Deadwood Stage, Windy City, The Black Hills of Dakota and Secret Love, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Toyah Willcox returns to the stage to play Calamity Jane, a role immortalised on the Hollywood screen by Doris Day. Toyah, one of Britain's biggest household names, has a highly successful and varied career, with major hit records, frequent television appearances and many prestigious stage and screen roles in productions as diverse as The Taming of The Shrew, Cabaret, and Peter Pan.

Deadwood, Dakota Territory, is a typical Wild West town where the men are cowboys and women are clean-living, wholesome gals. That is apart from Indian scout Calamity Jane, who is as hard riding, gun-toting and boastful as any man on the prairie.

Calamity Jane is adapted for stage by Charles k. Freeman, with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. This new production is directed by Ed Curtis, designed by Simon Higlett, choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood with musical direction by Peter White.

Source - Birmingham Arts

November 5, 2002: 'Aladdin' - Let the panto fever commence!
Aladdin - version 2002Toyah will soon be, once again, donning her Aladdin costume and making a mammoth 37 (count 'em!) appearances at The Anvil in Basingstoke.

Aladdin - Friday 13th Dec 2002 - Sunday 5th January 2003.
Starring Toyah Willcox and Christopher Lillicrap

"Pantomime doesn’t come any better than this" - Basingstoke Observer

The greatest pantomime adventure of them all! Wicked Abanazer tries to get his hands on a fabled magic lamp and rule the world. Only the bravery of Aladdin can stop him – if his silly brother Wishee Washee doesn’t mess things up first!

Starring Toyah Willcox ‘One of the finest Aladdins of her generation’ Encore magazine and Christopher Lillicrap ‘He is going to become one of the classic panto dames of all time – eat your heart out Christopher Biggins’ - Basingstoke Observer

This fantastic production promises fun for all the family.

The Anvil websiteTickets 13.50, 16.00. Conc 3 off. Family ticket 42, 52

Group discount available, Scouts, Guides and other youth groups – special price available, Special schools and nurseries price for certain performances – please contact the box office for details

All tickets 9 performances: Fri 20 Dec at 3.00pm and Thu 2 Jan at 7.00pm
Sign Interpreted Performances: Thu 19 Dec at 10.00am and Fri 3 Jan at 7.00pm

Box Office - The box office is open 10.00am – 6.00pm Monday - Saturday (later on performance evenings) and from one hour before the first performance on Sunday. Reserved tickets are held for three days or until an hour before the start of the performance, whichever is the sooner. After this time, unpaid reservations will be released.

By telephone - call 01256 844244.

November 5, 2002: Dreamscape nominated in Dotmusic Awards
Dotmusic People's Choice AwardsDreamscape has been nominated for the DotMusic People's Choice Award, which recognises the best music websites online. The competition is open to both official and unofficial sites, and when you vote, you will be entered into a prize draw to win a JVC digital camcorder. Click the image to vote for Dreamscape. Thanks in advance to anyone who does so:)

In last year's Dotmusic poll Dreamscape was number 324. Not bad considering 2,611 websites were entered.

November 4, 2002: Toyah in 'The Magic Tree House'!!
Yes, really:) The Magic Treehouse is an Ooberman website, dedicated to everything about the indietastic band. Toyah recently got a mention on their News page because she mentioned them (if you see what I mean?)...

Toyah Joins the OoberArmy! - Interviewer: Will you be spinning the latest CD by The Music? Toyah: I'm into a lot of contemporary bands and I love the Led Zeppelin sound, so I would probably enjoy it. And the new one by Ooberman - I definitely want that in the car.

This Toyah interview originally appeared in 'The Times' on September 7th, and can be found in September's News in the Dreamscape News Archive.

November 3, 2002: 'Girls Forever' - Toyah on TV last night
Girls ForeverToyah was featured, among dozens of other female singers, on Girls Forever late last night on ITV1.

The short, but sweet, feature opened with a retro Toyah TV appearance from 1985 alongside kid's presenter Gaz Top, followed by a clip of the 'I Want To Be Free' video, over which was muttered...

"UK girls have always had to disprove the doubters. Why, as one said 'so what if I dye my hair, I've still got a brain up there...'

'I Want To Be Free' was mainstream, yet arty, post-punk Toyah Willcox's second hit. Number eight in '81 and certainly a better title choice than debut hit 'It's A Mystery'. Not ideal for a singer troubled by a lisp.

There followed a bunch more hits by the diminutive woman whose visual style inspired many a new romantic. 

Toyah went on to marry guitarist Robert Fripp, thus keeping music in the family!"

November 3, 2002: New Website - Toyah Live In The '90s : Pics Page
Live Toyah PicsWhiskey Dave's Live Gig Pictures website has a section dedicated to Toyah. The section has some excellent pictures from two Toyah gigs from the mid-nineties.

The site also has sections on Chester, Pit Full Of Ugly and Sunshot.

Check it out by clicking the picture.

November 3, 2002: Toyah On TV - *Update*
Under Offer : Challenge TV - Twice Daily Weekdays : 7.00am/2.00pm
Toyah captains a team on this property panel game.
The Ebony Tower : Artsworld - Sunday 3rd Nov : 5.00pm
Laurence Olivier, Toyah, a chateau in France in 1983 - bravo!
Personal Passions : BBC 2 - Tuesday 5th Nov : 12.45am
Toyah shows Peter Curran round the gardens of beautiful Reddish House.
Brum : CBeebies - Thursday 7th November : 8.20am/12.20pm/4.20pm
Brum & The Airport Adventure
Urgh! A Music War : Sky Movies 2 - Wednesday 13th November : 00.35am
1980 - Toyah, Joel, & band perform an utterly fantastic live version of 'Danced'.
Brum : CBeebies - Wednesday 13th November : 8.20am/12.20pm/4.20pm
Brum & The Balloon
November 3, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' - Hull New Theatre : BBCi Review
Calamity in HullCalamity Jane was a hard-drinking, rough-living wild woman of the west, yet beneath the dusty buckskins, she had a sensitive and sentimental nature, nicknamed Calamity because it followed her everywhere. 

Reviewed by Christine Cummings at the Hull New Theatre.

Toyah Willcox played the title role in Hull. Calamity Jane is a stagecoach driver and professional gambler. A real tomboy. She thinks she’s in love with Lt Danny Gilmartin, that is, until she sees Wild Bill Hickok (her old friend) in a different light. 

Throw in some bar room brawls, jealousy, gun-totting cowboys and saloon girls and you have an energetic, high voltage show that raced from start to finish. 

Having not seen Toyah Willcox on stage before, I had no idea what to expect from either her performance or the show. But, as soon as the curtain went up, it was obvious this was going to be a very special performance.

From the opening number, Deadwood Stage involving the entire cast, all of whom put their heart and soul into it, to the rip-roaring finale, there wasn’t one person in the audience at the New Theatre in Hull who was not on their feet at the end, in awe of the magic that they had just witnessed.

The biggest cheer, was saved for the diminutive Toyah Willcox. She has proved herself a million miles away from the punk diva she portrayed in the 80's, singing and dancing with such passion and energy. 

Special mention to Kellie Ryan (Katie Brown). She recently graduated from Arts and Educational College and this was one of her first, professional performances. I think she has a big future ahead of her. She was excellent in the part and had a very strong voice. 

Alasdair Harvey (Wild Bill) and Dustin Dubrevil (Lt Danny Gilmartin) were both outstanding, with vocal performances to rival anyone in any West End Show.

Calamity Jane is a fantastic night out for all the family. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

November 2, 2002: 'The Times' Theatre - Critic's Choice (Again!)
Calamity Jane was, yet again, Jeremy Kingston's 'Theatre Choice' in the "Best Shows Nationwide" section of last week's 'The Times' (Saturday 26th September)...

CALAMITY JANE, New Theatre, Hull : Oct 28 - Nov 2
Almost half a century has passed since the Doris Day/Howard Keel movie won an Oscar for Best Original Song with Secret Love, which was also a No 1 hit single. But now Tristan Baker Productions have revived Calamity Jane with a touring show starring Toyah Willcox, proving that this is not a one-time, one-hit, musical. The nationwide tour continues until next Spring.

November 2, 2002: 'Calamity Jane' - Regent Theatre, Stoke : BBCi Review
Calamity in StokeSue Ashford takes a look at Calamity Jane, featuring Toyah Willcox... 

Calamity Jane and Doris Day went together, well, like a horse and carriage - until Tuesday night at the Regent Theatre in Hanley when Toyah Willcox took to the stage as the rootin' tootin' gun totin' larger than life cowgirl from Deadwood.

This is an action packed, fast paced story of life in the Wild West in 1876 when it was easier to get shot than to buy a drink! 

Toyah takes the character of Calamity Jane a stage further than Doris Day's fairly sweet image in the 1953 film version. 

She plays her as a strong-minded woman who loves to prove that she can out gun and out whip all the men in Deadwood - with the exception of Wild Bill Hickock (brilliantly played by Alasdair Harvey) who she just about considers an equal, and the handsome army lieutenant Danny Gilmartin (Dustin Dubreuil) who she thinks she is in love with. 

Calamity Jane is full of classic songs - Blackhills of Dakota, Secret Love, Windy City and, of course, The Deadwood Stage and Toyah whip-cracks her way through them all with tremendous energy and vitality. She said in a recent interview on BBC Radio Stoke that she loves the role and it shows. 

Simon Higlett's set design is inspired and James Whitesides lighting effects as he gives us vast expanses of western sky are a delight. 

A nearly full house gave the show a rousing welcome to the Potteries and I am sure I was not the only member of the audience that left that night singing 'Oh The Deadwood Stage...'