The Games People Play: Toyah Willcox, Actress and singer

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The Independent Culture
I AM married to a man called Robert Fripp. We live in Salisbury and we have a croquet lawn. Croquet is a game that got banned in Edwardian times. People were literally killing themselves over it, because it's such a dirty game to play.

The whole aim is to knock out the other contenders, and when my husband and I play, we always fall out. The thing is, my husband wins every time and I get into this Rottweiler rage. Sometimes we don't talk for hours after a game. And if we invite friends round, we all end up falling out because my husband just zips round the course, knocking us all out of the game.

There's no point to a game if you don't have a chance of winning. I suppose we keep playing because it starts off socially, and we all have Pimms or champagne, and it's a giggle. And when we get to losing the sixth game, we all want to kill him.

He's clever but there's a game at which I can beat him - Jenga. It requires no intellectual ability, just nerve. It's a stack made of woodblocks and each person has to remove a block and place it on top of the stack, so that you're creating a tumbling spire. I win that every time because I've got a rock-steady hand and I'll always put him in a situation where he will lose. And if I can't win at croquet and Jenga, I'll frighten the wits out of him by hiding in a cupboard for hours on end, so that when he opens it I can jump out at him. We do have a very competitive relationship when it comes to fun and games, even though I love him madly.

Toyah Willcox is currently on tour with Arthur Smith's "The Live Bedshow", a two-handed comedy which, according to the blurb: "all takes place in a bedroom but spans nine years of a marriage". The play opens at The Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, Essex on 19 August. Box office: 01708 443333. Details of other venues: 0171-935 5756

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