TOYAH’S BLOG: NOV 2021

Category: Toyah's Blog

All photos on this page copyright Brett D. Cove/Proud Cabaret. Unauthorised usage is prohibited.

HELLO THERE!

Last week I opened in PROUD CABARET at PROUD EMBANKMENT, a gorgeous venue just under Waterloo Bridge on the North side of the Thames.

The venue faces the National Theatre where my career started in Dec 1976, I was 18 years old!

It feels so appropriate. Almost full circle, at a time so many changes are happening in my and Robert’s lives.

Catch me in the show up until the 29 December, dates are on the GIGS page. It’s fantastically visual, funny and high energy, a perfect Christmas evening out, where you are treated as superstars, have a three course meal and lots of entertainment.

I am profoundly moved by the artists, for I WANT TO BE FREE I am joined by KATRINA, who suspends over the stage in chains and defies gravity with her graceful moves, she defies the human body too, she seems to have no joints!

I look up at her as a I sing FREE, a song I contributed the lyric too, 40yrs ago, and I tear up every time seeing Kats freedom of expression.

The Proud Cabaret team are very much a family.

For me it is gorgeous working with very young, extremely talented people. I suppose you could call this theatre company part of the “woke” generation, they certainly are part of the new world but I don’t feel outside or rooted in a past they have never known, we are very much an open book in that everything is shared and created as a team.

Some of the acts defy gravity.  Most of the acts are dangerous. You’d think the routines would break the human body. A lot of the performers have trained with Cirque Du Soleil. They are thrilling/ funny/ thought provoking and super creative.

Being so much older than the rest of the team I take my own responsibility for reading about “woke culture”.

In the past my work has championed individuality, the outsider and those who break convention.  But old influences have hidden connections and I am keenly aware to repair or re-address anything written in ignorance.

At school, an eroding environment for me, one I couldn’t flourish in, I had no voice to ask for change, being the “odd one out”, I was powerless to make my life better/ happier and healthier until I walked through the school gates for the last time. I never want to witness anyone going through the same.

This generation are completely different to any other I have known, I can ask the them advice on how to address or phrase something I want to say in the show. It’s a growing experience.

The Proud Company are very cool indeed. 

Last night we did our last of two shows at The Meeting Room in Halifax, yes it’s a very busy time, alternating Proud Cabaret with the Posh Pop Tour.  

It was an explosively lively show, a lovely space so we all rocked out and pushed out a lot of energy.

On both nights when it came to the last song TAKE ME HOME, the audience spontaneously, with absolutely no hinting from me, all started to couple up and slow dance together. 

I am sure they didn’t all know the song, but it completely possessed them, some were in tears, it was so amazing, the room completely changed…….just stunning, a perfect end to a fun night.

Four days earlier I had my vaccine top up, this time Pfizer, and I have been a little confused since (at least I wasn’t confined to bed, like the days afte

r my very first jab) but at the opening of PROUD CABARET I had a bad fall on stage and cut my calf surprisingly deeply, when I took my boot off at the end of the evening there was a lot of blood.

I fall all the time, partly my disability in my legs, so I thought nothing of it.

But just as I was going on stage in Halifax the next day I realised the bleeding hadn’t stemmed, my blood wasn’t clotting, which must have been the result of the PFIZER jab and the band wanted me to go to hospital.

It’s now a week after the fall and finally my body is kicking back…. but be warned everyone this is a potential side effect, don’t go cutting yourself.

KNEELING AT THE SHRINE: SUNDAY ALL OVER THE WORLD is near completion with Paul Stacey doing the remixes and it’s stunning.

There is so much on this 1989 album that has influenced other artists after the release well into the 1990s. It’s great to put this album out there once again, because “influence” to me is on a par with success.

The track STORM ANGEL is magnificent! I was on board The Britannia P&O when Paul Stacey sent the mix over, it was a stormy day out on the Atlantic and the boat was moving side to side a lit. Gareth Gates was my neighbour and I could hear him writing a new song in his room.

I opened up the file on my computer and my world changed. The opening guitar goes straight in with full storm force and never lets up. Paul has mixed my vocals so beautifully, yet again I was in tears rediscovering this very excellent piece of work. I played over and over again until we reached Southampton.

Our shows on the Britannia are a BIG hit. On our first night many of the other artist on board came to see the show and they were blown away by the concept.

It is only myself and Wong on stage, but it’s a pacey show with a lot of nostalgic and historic stories, it works.

The Captain had to make an emergency announcement just before we walked on stage, a helicopter had to airlift a passenger off ( turned out to be indigestion and not a heart attack, thank goodness) The Captain has overriding power of the whole ship and emergency announcements can circuit break computers, so when Wong went to start his tracks… NOTHING HAPPENED! Yikes , I managed to fill the reset time with an outrageous story of dressing room antics, mush to the audiences pleasure.

When Wong and I first got on board, for what was our second trip this year, we were told we had 5 days off. We didn’t know what to do. I don’t think I’ve had 5 days off since 2018.

So we took up Ballroom Dancing, our tutors where Pamela Martin and her husband Peter, international dance instructors who took us under their wings and taught us the Waltz, Cha Cha Cha and the jive.

Chris Wong became a star pupil and a much sought after single man…he had a fantastic time. 

We had a day in Gibraltar, a port I love. There seems to be a deep connection for me with this intense, tiny space. You turn full circle on the deck of the ship and see Gibraltar, Spain, Morocco and Portugal. The history is tangible. One of my favourite books is The Alchemist, about a Shepherd boy and his life journey through all four countries. Gorgeous.

As I write my possessions are coming back from Menton, France. It became impossible to stay in my beloved second home thanks to Brexit and sadly some hostility in the area. It is heartbreaking but I always love new chapters and who knows what Gibraltar may bring! I can always visit Menton on holiday. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

For the next six weeks its shows, shows, shows……….I hope to see you at a POSH POP SHOW or PROUD CABARET very soon. 

BE PROUD, BE LOUD,  BE HEARD!
BIG LOVE
TOYAH

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