Spotlight on . . .

Steve Hall and Tiffany Stevenson
Steve Hall and Tiffany Stevenson
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YOU wouldn’t believe the random items and emails that arrive on the desk of an entertainment editor. In Spotlight on... I’ll highlight the ones that might otherwise slip under the radar, have some cult value or simply just be worth mentioning again. This week ...


I Was a Teenage Toyah Fan by Chris Limb

I Was a Teenage Toyah Fan by Chris Limb


ITV’s Show Me The Funny might have introduced Tiffany Stevenson (pictured) to a mainstream audience but long before that, her acclaimed second Fringe show, Cavewoman, at The Stand, cemented her reputation as one worth watching.

Stevenson returns to the York Place comedy club tonight, for a three-night run supporting headliner Steve Hall. A member of the award-winning We Are Klang, Hall’s take on everything from relationships to family and sex have been described as ‘bang on the money,’ causing comedy aficionado Kate Copstick to note his “breathtaking comic fire-power”.

Also on the bill are Graeme Thomas and Mickey Anderson. Check them out.

Terrible Torture Fest

Terrible Torture Fest

The Stand, York Place, tonight-Saturday, 9pm, £8-£15, 0131-558 7272



ELPHIN-LIKE she bounced around the stage of the Edinburgh Playhouse, a flirtatious, grinning, bundle of energy, belting out tracks from her latest album, The Changeling.

The year was 1982 and Toyah Willcox was at the height of her fame, as the packed 3000-seat venue attested. A front row seat - though nobody sat during the gig - ensured a great view. Could she really be so petite? Actually, tiny is a better word. Memories of that concert came flooding back the other day when I was sent a copy of I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan, by Chris Limb.

I’m guessing Limb and I must be of the same generation as the ‘18-year-old me’ definitely related to many of the experiences and observations chronicled in this compact memoir, which boasts an endearing openness and captures the naive awe of youth.

A tale of obsession and self-discovery, I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan is a nostalgic remembering of the early 1980s, its music and its politics, as seen by one of life’s outsiders.

Out on a Limb, would have been an equally good title, as despite the author’s best efforts to fit in and be one of a very distinct little cabal (The Angels and Demons, a group of self-proclaimed super-fans named after one of their heroine’s darkest tracks) the impression persists that Limb takes some comfort from remaining slightly apart from the rest.

It’s because of this detachment that he can paint such an absorbing picture of the period. His obvious love of his subject matter makes it almost impossible to read his gathered thoughts, at times a bit wordy, without raising a smile.

Limb’s recollections also have the bittersweet sting of nostalgia revisited through the eyes of one much older - a sentiment with which anyone old enough to remember the heydays of punk will empathise.

I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan, by Chris Limb, published by, £9.99, available from Amazon (also in Kindle format), go to



FEBRUARY is traditionally the month of atonement. It also sees the kids on their half term break. To celebrate both, take a trip into the bowels of the Edinburgh Dungeon between Saturday and February 19 and experience the added horror of Terrible Torture, during which dark punishments from the last 500 years will be demonstrated.

Come face to face with a dungeon torturer wielding grisly instruments like tongue tearers, thumbscrews and the Judas Cradle, to name but a few. Judge Mental will be in his courtroom ready to give the torturer a helping hand, but remember, the torturer has a good nose for sinners - look guilty and he might just pounce on you. Audience participation has never been more scary.

Edinburgh Dungeon, Market Street, Saturday-February 19, 10pm-5pm, £9.20, 0871-423 2250