Tears of a Clown

Madonna: Tears of a Clown – a gushing review

My husband and I were fortunate to have received tickets to Madonna’s one-off, invitation only fan show at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne, ‘Tears of a Clown‘, on Thursday, 10 March. The invitation came via an out of the blue email on Sunday morning, from Icon, Madonna’s official fan-club.

You may have heard the news stories about ‘upset’ fans being ‘forced’ to line in an alley for hours in the pouring rain.

First, no one is ‘forced’ to line for a free Madonna concert.

Second, yes, the free tickets said the doors would open at 8.30pm, and the doors didn’t open until around midnight, with Madonna taking to the stage at 1am.

Did we, or the fans around us, care? Nope.

Hosier Lane
Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Were we lining in Melbourne’s famous Hosier Lane in the rain for hours? Yes.

Did we, or the fans around us, care? Nope.

We had umbrellas to keep us dry.

We were surrounded by fascinating graffiti art to engage our senses.

We had the fabulous and witty company of other Madonna fans to keep us entertained.

In the meantime security was providing us with regular updates about what was happening, namely Madonna taking longer than anticipated to finish rehearsals for this special performance. Is this an unreasonable turn of events for such a unique event, by an artist known for being a perfectionist?


We chatted among ourselves and by the time the doors opened we made new friends and acquaintances and, frankly, a fabulous time was had by all, despite the delays.

New friends
Making new friends

Once the doors opened, the event staff processed guests quickly and efficiently, and before we knew it Madonna was arriving on a tricycle … yes a tricycle, dressed as a very pretty clown in a pink wig and a sexy, modern clown outfit.

She sang, she told touching stories about her family, and hilariously bad jokes, and had a few Cosmopolitans on stage.

The show kicked off with a beautiful rendition of ‘Send in the Clowns’, a song written by Stephen Sondheim for the musical ‘A Little Night Music’, and later famously recorded by Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand, among others.

Tears of a Clown
Enjoying ‘Tears of a Clown’
The song set the tone for a night filled with some of Madonna’s most touching ballads, from ‘Intervention’ to ‘Nobody’s Perfect’, ‘Take a Bow’, and ‘Joan of Arc’, and interesting low-key reinterpretations of some of her major hits, including ‘Borderline’ and ‘Holiday’, and a fan favourite, ‘I’m So Stupid’.

She also performed Elliott Smith’s ‘Between the Bars’, as part of her set and, as far as we are aware, she publicly performed ‘Mer Girl’ for the first time, as a homage to her Mum.

By the time she tricycled off the stage it was almost 3am, but she returned for a lighthearted, ukulele powered encore performance of ‘Holiday’, which had the audience singing along like it was a karaoke bar.

The show was intimate, personal and raw. Madonna shined on stage, gave a beautiful vocal performance and radiated warmth and personality as she gave some of her biggest fans a truly once in a lifetime experience. It was an absolute pleasure and a true privilege to be there …

We look forward to seeing her again in Sydney, at the Allphones Arena next week.

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