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Madonna accuses London Palladium of censorship after dropping curtain on overrunning show

By | Published on Friday 7 February 2020


Despite ongoing health issues, Madonna got back on stage this week. Although still she struggled to stay on it. This time due to the curtain being dropped before she had finished.

Having apparently gone past the venue’s curfew with her performance at the London Palladium on Wednesday night, the stage curtain was closed before Madonna was able to begin her final song. This, she insisted from the darkness, was “motherfucking censorship”.

In a post on Instagram, she wrote: “It was five minutes past our 11pm curfew – we had one more song to do and The Palladium decided to censor us by pulling down the metal fire curtain that weighs nine tons. Fortunately, they stopped it halfway and no one was hurt. Many thanks to the entire audience who did not move and never left us”.

Defying the fairly strong hint that it was time to go home, Madonna, her dancers, backing singers and band emerged from behind the curtain to deliver a raucous, mostly a cappella rendition of her song ‘I Rise’. So, while she may have been annoyed, it did provide a pretty memorable end to the show. She should have kept quiet and just done the same every night.

Meanwhile, back in the US, Madonna’s poor time-keeping is getting her into trouble there too. The musician has been hit with a second class action lawsuit over late starts to shows.

She was sued in November after the start time for a Tuesday night performance due to happen the following month was moved back to 10.30pm from 8.30pm. This would mean that the show would not finish until 1am. So, one fan who had bought tickets, Nate Hollander, decided that he no longer wished to attend. However, he was refused a refund and was unable to resell the ticket, he claims, because no one else wanted such a late bedtime on a Tuesday night either.

Now Madonna and promoter Live Nation are being sued over two earlier shows in New York, where she arrived on stage at 10.30pm, despite the advertised showtime being 8.30pm – and in that case no indication was given that a late start was likely. According to Billboard, the new lawsuit says that, given Madonna’s history of arriving on stage late, the promoter should have been aware that the advertised start time “constituted, at best, optimistic speculation”, and advised ticket-buyers accordingly.

The two men suing on this occasion – Andrew Panos and Antonio Velotta – seemingly attended the shows, but decided to leave before they began, due to the increasingly late hour. Similar to Hollander, they say that they were refused a refund and, by the time they decided to bail, it was too late to attempt to offload their tickets onto someone else.

Madonna seemingly responded to the initial lawsuit last year by posting a video of herself on stage saying: “There’s something that you all need to understand, and that is that a queen is never late”.

It remains to be seen if the courts concur with that.