TOYAH: (accidentally knocks off Russell’s notes from the table when she sits down) Sorry! (laughs)

RUSSELL HARTY: That’s the notes down then. Not only are the audience carried away - my notes are carried away as well

TOYAH: Sorry about that

RUSSELL: You’ve had to train very hard in this play called “Trafford Tanzi”? (below, Toyah as Tanzi)

TOYAH: We only had two weeks of rehearsing. So that gave us natural adrenaline to get the show ready for the public in time -

RUSSELL: But I mean physically you had to train quite hard?

TOYAH: Yes, I did a lot of judo. A lot of traditional wrestling, a lot of weightlifting (shows her biceps, laughs) Which I'm stuck with now

RUSSELL: For the rest of your life (A clip of “Trafford Tanzi” plays) There you are wrestling with -

TOYAH: Ah! Neil McCaul. He played my husband. He was wonderful! I mean he could fight with his mouth whereas I fought with my fists

RUSSELL: Was this (Toyah’s pulling and throwing Neil) your husband until the end of the show?

No, not at all-

RUSSELL: But the way you’re behaving I’m not all surprised at all -

But he was brilliant -

RUSSELL: It's a story of what? A battered baby?

TOYAH: It's about a battered baby brought up in the north with the traditions of being a woman. The fact that women are taught to take the step behind and not want to work, only want to get married and have babies. Within the play Tanzi gets married to a husband that's unfaithful to her

So to prove herself, her pride and everything, she takes up wrestling and in a heated argument with her husband says “right, I'll take you on!”. And she takes him on. It's a 20 minute fight and she ends up KO’ing him (knocking him out)

RUSSELL: You’ve now landed with these rock hard things for the rest of your life (touches Toyah’s arm) If you let them go they’ll … (the audience and Toyah laugh) ... the flab will fall down and you'll have very big fat hands won’t you?

TOYAH: Well, I found what’s very healthy is I do 50 press ups a morning and if I've still got it in me I’ll do 60 before I go to bed

RUSSELL: Were you ever fat?

TOYAH: Very! When I was a kid I was incredibly fat

RUSSELL: What did you look like? Describe yourself

TOYAH: I looked like an ape (the audience laughs)

Did you?

A real ape. I had very long black hair that was very, very bushy. I looked like a cavewoman. And (puts on a lisp) I talked like this, I had an exceptionally bad lisp and I walked with a wobble and I was like everybody's failure. So I had a lot to fight at

RUSSELL: (talks with a lisp) I think your lisp came in quite useful (the audience laughs) through a programme called “Kick Up The 80s”. Did you see that?

I deliberately avoided it because I like Tracey Ullman. I thought if I saw it I’ll kill her!

I hope we have a little piece of this because in that programme there is Tracey Ullman actually imitating your lisp (Toyah laughs)

(A clip of “Kick Up The 80s” plays)

RUSSELL: That’s Miriam Margolyes and Tracy Ullman doing Toyah Willcox

TOYAH: It’s very good actually!

RUSSELL: Are you flattered or annoyed by that?

TOYAH: I'm told by my father I should be flattered but in the early days, I just was genuinely insecure about it

RUSSELL: And cheesed off a bit?

TOYAH: But I'm not that insecure now I don’t think

RUSSELL: Is there's a core of steel inside this tough lady?

TOYAH: I hope not!

RUSSELL: This tough exterior? (the audience laughs)

TOYAH: (flirtingly) Not at the moment (giggles)

RUSSELL: I mean of resolution and of ambition and the energy?

TOYAH: I’m still ambitious. I'll always be ambitious. There’s so many people I want to work with. I'm very lucky with who I've worked with up to now. I've got ambitions to work with people like Spielberg. He might let me be the monster in his next movie

RUSSELL: (Makes monster noises) Well, if he doesn't, you can KO him and throw him over. Now, you're going to sing us a song. A song that you've written?

TOYAH: Yes, it's our latest single. It's called “The Vow” and I wrote it with my lead guitarist Joel -

RUSSELL: What is its subject?

TOYAH: Its subject matter is we all know our mistakes, but we never know how to correct them. And love can be so close to the destructiveness and I think within what the world is going through now and 2000 years ago, Jesus was supposed to have come down and told us, you know "get your act together" and we haven't. And “the Vow” is saying I love you I love you, but I could hurt to protect you, which is the contradiction

OK, “The Vow”, Toyah Willcox

Watch the interview HERE


Post a Comment

<< Home