Posts Tagged ‘Trafford Tanzi’

Must See Theatre: Trafford Tanzi/Kevin Maguire

June 29th, 2024

EdFringe | Trafford Tanzi starring Toyah Willcox! The play that changed my life – Kevin Maguire

Having given Andrew Pierce the opportunity to share the story of the musical that changed his life – it was Mamma Mia! you may recall – it seemed only fair to offer Kevin Maguire the same courtesy, especially as the pair’s Edinburgh Fringe show, Andrew Pierce vs Kevin Maguire (Assembly Rooms, 8-10 August), pits them against each other. So, in the interest of maintaining an even playing field, here, Maguire shares the piece of theatre that ‘changed his life’… Toyah Willcox in Trafford Tanzi.

‘Time erased exactly why I went to see punk princess Toyah Willcox hitting a wrestling ring’s canvass during 10 rounds over three hours, yet the exhilaration – mine, not hers, just to be clear – is as fresh today as that evening 41 years ago and counting. You never forget the magical impact of your first play, the memory sticking like first day at school, first day at work, first football game, first kiss.
I was a late debutant to the theatre, growing up in a Tyneside working class home where money was tight and the stage a social world away from our life. There’s no need to get out an unfeasibly small violin. Childhood is recalled happily even if now I recognise it could’ve been enriched culturally.

Never going to the York Theatre Royal during three years at the city’s university is explained blushingly by hanging with a group, at least one of whom subsequently came to see Willcox in her cartoonish outfit, who, like me, preferred football, playing the fool and doing nothing.

• Continue reading at Must See Theatre.

Toyah Newsy Bits & Pieces!

May 28th, 2013

It’s A Mystery: Following on from the fantastic ‘Mystery’ (Soft Mix by The Sonic Healer) comes another two, unofficial, remixes of ‘It’s A Mystery’, both just made available online this week. These don’t stray too far from the original, simply just extending the classic song. Listen at Magnum’s 1980s Extended Edits & Remixes.

Uncut: Robert Fripp steals the show in David Bowie documentary: I don’t know if you saw it, but BBC2’s David Bowie documentary, Five Years, screened at the weekend, was very entertaining.

Louder Than War: Top 10 Punk Rock Films: Jubilee: Derek Jarman’s 1978 film is as utterly ridiculous and campily bizarre as one of the several strands of early punk itself, Jubilee is a fascinating and ageing curio of the times and the reflection of one of the UK’s most imaginative film directors.

Jubilee Art: While on the subject of Jubilee, some digital art by Neveryan at

Tanzi Libre: The original production, Trafford Tanzi, premiered at Contact Theatre in Manchester in 1980 before playing at the Edinburgh Festival and touring. It played at West End’s Mermaid Theatre starring Toyah Willcox in the title role and then later, on Broadway, as Tuebrook Tanzi: The Venus Fly Trap, starring Debbie Harry with Andy Kaufman as the Referee.

Night Fever: Meanwhile in the 90s, Toyah and Sam Kane perform ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ in this, long forgotten, Channel 5 show presented by Suggs.

Remember 1983: Get Set: Trafford Tanzi

April 28th, 2013

Exactly 30 years ago Toyah was starring in Claire Luckham’s Trafford Tanzi at the Mermaid Theatre, London. BBC1’s Get Set aired a great interview on the Tanzi set, with Toyah, looking quite amazing, putting Peter Powell in his place! And here it is.

Smash Hits: March 17-30 1983: Trafford Tanzi

March 17th, 2013

The March 17-30 1983 issue of ‘Smash Hits’ has been uploaded to the Smash Hits Archive, exactly 30 years ago to the day it was originally published.

The magazine, with Tracie Young and Paul Weller on the cover, includes a “Bitz” news clipping with the first mention of Toyah appearing in Trafford Tanzi.

Poll-winning warbler and sometime actress, your very own Ms Toyah Willcox, is due to begin treading the boards of the Mermaid Theatre, London from some time in late March. She’ll be taking over the title role in Trafford Tanzi, a very successful feminist musical that takes the form of a wrestling match. Rehearsals for the new cast have just been started, and they sound somewhat strenuous! The reason that there’s no precise opening date is because the show can’t go on until they’re all “in shape”.

Meanwhile, over in New York, Debie Harry is getting in shape to take the same role in a Broadway production of the same play! All this theatrical activity means, of course, that meantime there won’t be many records from either of this pair.

• Continue reading at the Smash Hits Archive.

Classic Toyah: LITL/Trafford Tanzi Fan Photos

September 3rd, 2012

More great photos of Toyah in 1983. These were taken when Toyah was recording the Love Is The Law album while, simultaneously, starring in Trafford Tanzi at the Mermaid Theatre in London. Click on these to view larger versions. (Thanks to Andi)

Classic Toyah: Trafford Tanzi Fan Photos

August 30th, 2012

Is it just me who can’t quite believe that Trafford Tanzi was almost 30 years ago!!?!! These great photos of Toyah, from various months through the Summer of 1983 while she was starring in the play at the Mermaid Theatre, were sold through the Intergalactic Ranchouse newsletters. Click on the photos to view larger versions. (Thanks to Andi)

Classic Toyah: Suzy Magazine Articles 82/83

August 26th, 2012

Two retrotastic Toyah articles from early Eighties ‘Suzy’ magazine:  Toyah: The Troublesome Kid!, from November 1982 (this includes some great live photos from ‘The Changeling Tour’), and A Hit Show For Toyah!, from July 1983 (with some shots of Toyah performing in Trafford Tanzi). Please click on each to view larger versions. (A big thank you to Paul Lomas)

Classic Toyah: More 1981, ’82 and ’83!

July 14th, 2012

Three more photos of Toyah from the archives (and the 80s!!). 1. The final date of the ‘Good Morning Universe’ European Tour 1981 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane; 2. A rare shot of Toyah during ‘The Changeling Tour’ 1982; 3. A serene looking Toyah during the hectic days of Trafford Tanzi at the Mermaid Theatre, 1983. Click on each to zoom. (Thanks to Andi & Lärwi)

Classic Toyah: Rare 1980/83

July 7th, 2012

A rare photo of Toyah from 1980! Plus a great shot from 1983 when she was starring in Trafford Tanzi at the Mermaid Theatre, London, and at the same time recording the ‘Love Is The Law’ album. Please click on each to zoom. View another picture from the 1980 photo session. These are the only two I know of from it! (Thanks to Michael Tyler & Andi)

Toyah News Briefs

July 5th, 2012

• Jelly, the band which includes Stevie Bray of the original Toyah (Sheep Farming/Blue Meaning) line up, play their very first gig this weekend: The gig is at the The Water Rats, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross. Visit the events page at Facebook for more info and details on how to be added to the guest list. Check out Jelly’s Facebook page for links to some of their songs.

• A full transcript of Toyah’s recent ‘Radio Chorley’ interview at Blackpool Pride is now available at The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive.

• Kevin Tucker’s brilliant Mermaid Days website, photos and memories of Toyah in Trafford Tanzi at the Mermaid Theatre in 1983, has been resurrected as a Facebook group. The site ran for a number of years through the Noughties and it’s great to see it return.

• A Quadrophenia Club Night, in association with Falkirk Steeple Scooter Club, is taking place at Falkirk Town Hall on Saturday 18th August. You’ll be in for a great night of non-stop entertainment starting with the the screening in magnificent Blu-ray of Quadrophenia (first time on a Falkirk cinema screen for 33 years!!) and then dance the rest of the night away in a re-creation of the legendary Goldhawk Club where Alex Carnaby will be playing all the authentic sounds of the sixties, Truly not to be missed! View further info and ticket details here. (Thanks to Mark Leonard)

Trafford Tanzi Returns

March 18th, 2012

One of Toyah’s most famous theatre plays, Trafford Tanzi by Claire Luckham, is back… At the Empire Theatre, Blackburn at the end of this month in a production by Blackburn College Performing Arts Department and they even mention Toyah in their promotion for their play.

“You are invited to cheer and boo the characters as though you were present at an actual wrestling match.

Toyah Willcox was famous for her fantastic characterisation of Tanzi. This is a superb play you would be crazy to miss.”

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