Toyah has made a highly successful, prolific and incredibly diverse career with major hit records and many prestigious stage and screen roles to her credit, which has made her one of Britain’s biggest household names.
Her acting career began at the Old Rep Drama School, in her hometown Birmingham. Her first notable role came in 1977 when film director Derek Jarman offered her the role of Mad in seminal Punk epic Jubilee. Later that year she put together the first embryonic line up of her own band.
Toyah continued to gain ever-strong roles, appearing alongside Katherine Hepburn in the film “The Corn Is Green” as well as playing “Monkey” in the legendary “Quadrophenia”. By 1979 Toyah’s band was gaining critical success with the debut single “Victims Of The Riddle” (number one in the independent charts) and six track EP Sheep Farming in Barnet. Meanwhile Derek Jarman asked her to play Miranda in his innovative version of The Tempest, which won her a nomination as Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards. She also appeared at the ICA in Steven Poliakoff’s American Days and in the BBC series Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with David Hemmings.
The following year Toyah’s album The Blue Meaning became a Top 40 hit. Acting roles continued too, including a leading part in Sugar & Spice at the Royal Court Theatre. An ATV documentary “Toyah” and an accompanying live album “Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!” confirmed her status as one of the most significant new talents of the eighties.
A European tour, further television roles and chart successes included “It’s A Mystery”, “I Want To Be Free” and the platinum album “Anthem” followed and 1981 ended with a Christmas Eve concert from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which was screened live as The Old Grey Whistle Test Christmas Special. 1982 saw her winning Best Female Singer in the then Rock & Pop Awards (now the Brits). The year also brought more extensive touring in support of the follow up album “The Changeling” and the hit singles “Brave New World” and “Be Proud, Be Loud, Be Heard”.
Toyah is busier than ever, shooting four movies this year, and playing Glastonbury. One of her earliest films was the classic 1979 movie Quadrophenia, and almost 40 years on, it’s her starring role in the sequel.