HAPPY FEBRUARY…..SPRING IS COMING…YIPPEEEEEEEE!
Hopefully the extreme cold weather has ceased for the year, like so many I suffer the cold, can’t think, cant move, cant do anything!
A KISS FROM TOYAH has taken off spectacularly!
I’ve got though three lipsticks and two pens this week and LOVED doing the really sweet messages ready for Valentines Day.
My dear sweet husband Robert is slotting into the TOYAH BAND within weeks and tomorrow I take him to Butlins Minehead, this is a venue that holds one of the coolest Alternative Festivals in the UK, Iggy Pop and I believe Alice Cooper have played there. This will be Roberts first time in a Butlins ever.
Very few venues in the UK are tricky to get into or move around in. Leeds Arena insisted on seeing my AAA pass every time I left my dressing room, even when I came off the stage after my show, which was surprising.
But Minehead wins the prize. I’ve played this venue every year, for well over 30yrs. I will be appearing there twice this year. My last concert in Minehead was in October 2022 and they wouldn’t let me in!
I said to the boys on security “Hello I am TOYAH, I am playing Reds tonight“. To which I am told a member of my band has to come out of the venue and walk in front of my car until I park, then they must escort me into the venue. While being told this I watched three members of my band being waved on through security without being stopped or questioned.
Eventually one of them twigged that I am famous…..most likely because of the hysteria going on around me.
That night the show rocked, it is a fantastic place to play live, the audience give so much energy back. As the show drew to a close, more security where called into the venue because there can be stage invasions.
So as I prepare to drive Fripp to Minehead, I have a feeling that if this is repeated there will be a different outcome……………. God help them. Fripp will insist I turn around and drive home.
Harry Enfield set the bar for this. He once arrived at BBC Wood Lane to record his comedy show, the man at the gate didn’t know who he was and said he wasn’t on the list….so Harry drove home. The show wasn’t recorded.
I‘ve fallen in love with London all over again in the last few weeks.
The city has changed, a friend of mine said the same, there is a new elegance to this amazing city. People are friendlier, the drivers are polite, there is a calm.
It’s taken me a long time to get back to normal since lockdown, I’ve been avoiding crowds and built up areas, but starting work in the city in the past weeks has really energised me.
Having just had a Christmas where business e-mail arrived on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I was expecting Jan to quieten down because so much prep was carried out thru the Christmas week for 2023.
Instead it has been a busy exhilarating month of setting up the next three years.
Mr. Fripp likes to know what is ahead of him…so a three-year plan has been set!
With a documentary crew starting to follow us in a matter of months and the TOYAH AND ROBERT live rehearsals kicking in, the engines of 2023 are well and truly fired up and moving but so are the engines of 2024 and 2025.
If you are new to me and my past work you won’t know that when I was 17yrs old I used to “dress” the theatre stars that visited the theatres of Birmingham in the mid 70s.
“Dress” meaning I worked backstage getting all the touring companies costumes ready and getting the artists stage ready, doing their quick changes and running to get them tea and sandwiches, picking up their dry cleaning and being a support in every area they needed whilst in the theatre and I LOVED IT.
I dressed Judy Geeson, Simon Williams, all of the Dad’s Army team, The Ballet Rambert and also the late great Sylvia Syms.
Tears here shed on her passing this week. She taught me so much. One of my favourite black and white films is WOMAN IN A DRESSING GOWN. A three hander with Sylvia, Anthony Quayle and the astonishing Yvonne Mitchell, it is a master class in character development and a tour de force from Sylvia playing the sympathetic yet devastatingly beautiful mistress.
There is a powerful argument that in the world of acting women over the age of 30 are typecast as no longer useful/ desirable/ sane and one could argue this film is a prime example of this but the three actors handle the subject matter with mastery and when I was employed to dress Sylvia I was overwhelmed with pride.
Sylvia had a quiet precision in everything she did.
Never ever getting over excited, instead thoughtfully addressing each moment with the exact energy needed.
The show I was dressing her for required corsets to be tightened and crinolines to be worn in the cramped wings of the Alexandra Theatre, not once did Sylvia complain, instead she taught me, at every possible moment, about how to enter a stage, how to enter a scene, how to preserve energy and above all the power and effect of good posture.
And like Judy Geeson, she was thrilled for me when I surprisingly ended up cast at the National Theatre when I was 18. I am grateful to have worked with these amazing actors whose work continues to inspire.
This month I have found time to pick up my guitar and play.
It’s such a pleasure and ideas flood in.
To combat the long gaps without being able to play I now carry my guitar around the house, playing when I stop still for a moment or while watching the news on TV, even while reading E-mail…..making it an extension of myself and my thoughts…….ONE DAY I WILL WEAR IT ON STAGE!