Madonna has surprised fans by taking to the stage in Australia dressed as a clown.

The singer is currently down under for the final leg of her globe-trotting ‘Rebel Heart Tour’, which usually plays in large-capacity arena venues. At the last minute, she added a bonus show in a more intimate space, Melbourne’s Forum Theatre, and dubbed the one-off performance ‘Tears of a Clown’.

The stripped down gig, streamed live on Periscope, began with Madonna riding a child’s tricycle on stage before she opened the show with a rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Send in the Clowns’.

She also tested out her stand-up comedy skills with a series of risqué jokes and took the opportunity to defend her controversial fashion sense. “If you have a problem with jewellery in my mouth, there’s the door,” Madonna told the crowd between songs.

Later, she dedicated the song ‘Intervention’ to her son Rocco and performed it in front a projection of his face. The 15-year-old is currently living with his father, Madonna’s ex-husband Guy Ritchie, and a New York judge has urged them to resolve their ongoing custody battle for Rocco’s sake.

The show’s setlist was also filled with surprises. Madonna left out her biggest hits in favour of performing a cover of Elliott Smith’s ‘Between the Bars’ and deep cuts from her extensive back catalogue including ‘Paradise (Not for Me)’, ‘I’m So Stupid’, ‘Joan of Arc’, ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ and ‘Mer Girl’.

Read more at The Independent