Madonna is known for pulling out shocking stunts at her live shows, but during her London gig on Wednesday night, the Queen of Pop received a surprise of her own.
It’s pretty well-documented that Madge’s punctuality isn’t her strong point, with many shows on the US and European leg of her Madame X world tour kicking off long after the scheduled start time, and continuing until the wee small hours of the morning.
Now in the middle of a string of shows at the London Palladium, Madonna discovered the hard way that the theatre isn’t playing around with their strict curfew.
Fans at the first few Palladium gigs revealed Madonna had joked about being threatened with the “iron curtain” if her show went on too late – and on Wednesday night, they reportedly made good on their promise.
A number of fans in the audience reported that the curtain came down suddenly before Madonna had completed her final number. But undeterred, she came out and finished her final song, I Rise, acapella.
One tweeted after the show ended: “The Palladium put the house lights up and pulled the curtain down on her. She had a big row with them then came back out and carried on with no microphone.”
Because of her infamous no-phones rule, there’s no footage of the moment in question, although one fan was able to somehow sneak some video of Madonna and her dancers singing I Rise in front of the Palladium’s curtain...
Madonna has since shared her side of the story on Instagram, writing: “It was five minutes past our curfew —we had one more song to do and The Palladium decided to censor us by pulling [down] the metal fire curtain that weighs 9 tons.
“Fortunately they stopped it half way and no one was hurt... many Thanks to the entire Audience who did not move and never left us.”
She also posted footage of the moment in question.
A spokesperson for LW Theatres told HuffPost UK: ”“Contrary to a number of reports, at no point during last night’s performance did staff at The London Palladium pull down, or attempt to pull down, the Iron Fire Curtain”
HuffPost UK has also contacted Madonna’s representatives for comment.
The Madame X tour received rave reviews when it arrived in London at the end of last month, but the world jaunt has been a difficult one for the singer, who has had to cancel multiple shows due to an undisclosed injury, believed to be affecting her knee and hip.
When performing two nights in a row, Madonna has even begun performing an abridged version of the show, taking out some of the more difficultly-choreographed numbers, including album cuts Dark Ballet and God Control.
She wrote on Instagram last week: “You all know i have multiple injuries and have had to cancel shows to give myself time to recover. So as not to surprise you i want to let you know ahead of time that I will be cancelling 2 shows- on Feb 4 and Feb 11th at the Palladium in London... because doing 3 shows in a row is too much on my body and in fact my doctors insist i take a day off after every show but i believe can manage if i do 2 shows then I rest!”
She continued: “Its a miracle i have gotten this far but a-lot has to do with the fact that i do 6 hours of re-hab every day. 3 hours before show and 3 after with multiple therapies.
“I have also switched to flat shoes and modified difficult parts of the show. This has helped enormously but i still need to be careful and of course rest is the best medicine.”
Madonna has six more shows scheduled at the London Palladium, ending on Sunday 16 February.