'Jesus Christ get me some drink!' - Madonna turns up to show 4 hours late dressed as clown to 'symbolise heartbreak'
Madonna turned up to her show in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday night four hours late and dressed as a clown.
The 57-year-old singer has been embroiled in a custody battle with ex-husband Guy Ritchie over their 15-year-old son Rocco for the past few months, and it seems the complicated case could be taking its toll on the superstar.
As she arrived for her performance at the Forum in the city, fans were left bemused by her appearance, with Madonna sporting a pink wig, striped tights and frilly top, along with a top hat and clown nose.
She explained to the audience that her outfit was to "symbolise heartbreak", adding: "There is something tragic about clowns because they try so hard to make you laugh and smile.
“They are obviously covering up something, there is something going on inside. What do you think is going on inside of me?"
Other bizarre occurrences during the evening included Madonna riding a trike across the stage, and falling off of it, and downing vodka cocktails. This is the first time Madonna has openly consumed alcohol during a performance, after previously denying claims she had been drunk during a performance in Kentucky.
"One thing I’m going to do here tonight that I’ve never done before when singing is drink," she told the crowd. "I’m not supposed to be asking for alcohol right now but, Jesus Christ, get me some drink."
Audience members also took to social media to comment on Madonna's state, with one writing: "So far, Madonna is drunk and constantly missing cues." Another added: "Madonna is performing to tell her son to come home. So moving. And drunk."
One of the most emotional points of the evening came when Madonna readied herself to sing the track Intervention, which begins with the line: "I got to save my baby".
An image of Rocco as a toddler flashed up on the screen behind her and Madonna struggled to control her emotions as she told her fans" "Everybody knows the saga of me and my son Rocco. It’s not a fun story to tell or think about. I probably would have enjoyed myself a bit more on this tour if he hadn’t have disappeared so suddenly. I’m going to dedicate this song to him."
The singer has not seen Rocco since he refused to return to his mother in New York following a stay with his London-based father in December (15).
Madonna has pursued legal action in both the U.K. and the Big Apple, where earlier this month (Mar16), Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Deborah Kaplan urged the two sides to find an amicable solution for the sake of Rocco. That case was adjourned until 1 June (16), while Justice Alistair MacDonald concurred with Kaplan's advice during a preliminary London hearing last week (03Mar16).