Toyah Willcox has had a highly successful, prolific and incredibly diverse career, with major hit records and many stage and screen roles to her credit, which has made her one of Britain’s biggest household names.
In a career spanning over 18 years, Toyah has had 13 top 40 singles, made 15 solo albums, appeared in over 20 stage plays and made 10 feature films. She achieved major acclaim for her role as Calamity Jane, which toured nationally and finished with 3 months in the West End. In 2003, apart from appearing on the stage, Toyah also took part in ITV’s ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’. In August 2000 Toyah’s autobiography ‘Living Out Loud’ (Hodder & Stoughton) was released. Throughout all this, Toyah continued to appear on stage in various theatrical roles, still performed with her band, wrote for newspapers and worked on her own novel – ‘Diary Of a Facelift’. Toyah Willcox continues to tour venues in the UK and further afield.
Throughout her career, Toyah has maintained a deep interest in social issues and is particularly passionate about education. She is also, as her career will show, an expert on re-invention.
Keynote Learning speech.
This is a twenty minute autobiographical speech about her years at school. She had dyslexia and her school didn’t cater for this learning difficulty. She was expected to slip through the educational net. But she didn’t. As in most cases of dyslexia there is usually an area the dyslexic excels in, and her area was performance. She tells this as a motivational and all too common story, which she wishes the whole audience can relate to. Also, that it is never too late to learn, we live in privileged times where education is our right and that learning should be a lifetime friend. As with all her speeches, this is poignant and hopefully light and funny, but also motivating.
This is best suited to an adult audience who is embarking on adult education. In the past it has also gone down particularly well with teachers.
This speaks for itself. After 25 years in the business there are an awful lot of stories to tell. All her stories are either wicked or spicy and she tries to make every thing very down to earth. From playing the donkey in the school nativity, to wearing a rubber dress on the set of Das Boat in Germany, where on a hot summer’s evening when the dress decided to constrict like a rubber band and leave her starkers in front of two hundred strangers. Her stories are slightly silly and very light hearted.
This speech appeals to anyone, it isn’t political and doesn’t make any social comment, it’s just fun.
She began her stage career at the National Theatre and her first notable role came in 1977 when film director Derek Jarman offered her the part of ‘Mad’ in the seminal punk movie JUBILEE. Later that year she put together the first embryonic line up for her own band.
She continued to gain ever stronger acting roles appearing alongside Katherine Hepburn in the film THE CORN IS GREEN as well as playing ‘Monkey’ in QUADROPHENIA and won a nomination for Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards for her role as ‘Miranda’ in Derek Jarman’s film THE TEMPEST.
Toyah’s band achieved critical success with the album SHEEP FARMING IN BARNET and by the early eighties released the hits ‘It’s A Mystery’ and ‘I Wanna Be Free’ from the ANTHEM album.A live broadcast of her New Year’s Eve Concert from London’s Theatre Royal; as the Old Grey Whistle Test Christmas Special, an ITV documentary TOYAH, TOYAH, TOYAH! and winning the Best Female Singer at the British Rock & Pop awards all confirmed her status as one of the eighties most significant new talents.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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