Madonna had a special treat in store for a select few of her Australian fans, returning to the stage Down Under for the first time in over 20 years.

And by a “special treat”, we mean a one-off show which saw her dressing up as a clown to perform a string of her lesser-known classics, incorporated with stand-up comedy and revealing details about her personal life.

The pop diva has returned to Australia after a 23-year absence, and to apologise to her Aussie fans for making them wait so long, she gave a special performance like nothing she’s ever done before in the form of her ‘Tears Of A Clown’ show.

Billed as a night of comedy and performance, she ditched her big hits like ‘Like A Prayer’, ‘Vogue’ and ‘Hung Up’, in lieu of slightly more niche album tracks like ‘Mer Girl’, ‘X-Static Process’, ‘Joan Of Arc’ and a cover (admittedly a pretty ropey one) of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Send In The Clowns’.

Madonna took to the stage just shy of four hours late, with fans having been queuing up outside for the intimate club gig all night, but judging from the cheers that erupted when she hit the stage in full clown regalia, the wait didn’t seem to be too much of an issue.

In one of the night’s more touching moments, she also got teary while discussing the ongoing custody issues surrounding her son, Rocco Ritchie, who is now living with his father, Guy Ritchie, in London, rather than with her in New York.

Admitting she missed her son, she then launched into a performance of deep cut ‘Intervention’, singing: “I know that love will keep us together, I know, I know there is nothing to fear, I know that love will take us away from here.”

One minute she’s riding a tiny bicycle around the stage and squeezing a comedy horn, the next she’s in bits singing a ballad for her estranged son. All in a day’s work for Madonna, eh?

On Saturday night, it’s business as usual for the Material Girl, who resumes her ‘Rebel Heart’ tour with a gig in Melbourne, before going on to Brisbane and Sydney, where her six-month world jaunt comes to an end.

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