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  • Writer's pictureSarah

The life-story of Jean-Paul Gaultier told as a marvellous over the top revue.

Jean-Paul Gaultier has always had that naughty twinkle in his eye, so it should be no surprise that the way he's chosen to tell his life story is full of fun, quirkiness, humour and that dash of naughtiness we've come to expect from him.

Instead of being narrated by one character, his story is told through the voices of a variety of female characters. Unlike many fashion designers he does actually seem to like women, and has drawn inspiration from them, especially those with strong characters such as his beloved grand-mère, Madonna, Catherine Deneuvre, Rossy de Palma, Catherine Ringer to name but a few.

Amazing dancing in the Fashion Freak Show
Just a normal night in the world of JPG! Photo credit Mark Senior

The performance is fresh and unique, part inspired by the Folies Bergère, part fashion show, part ballet, part cabaret, part circus there's something to be amazed at every minute. There's a huge video screen where some of the story is also told. It is Jean- Paul Gaultier after all, so do expect some cheeky bottoms and perky boobs to be on show!

The story starts with Jean-Paul's modification of his teddy, inspiration from his grandma's corsets, his daydreaming at school, the moments of wonder when he sees the Folies Bergère on television for the first time, and his first fashion show. The reaction of 'Anna Wintour' is one of the great comedy moments of the revue.

Duo dancing in a single jumper.
Pas de Deux between Francis and Jean-Paul. Photo credit Mark Senior

It also covers him falling in love with Francis, his first partner. This was the creative stand-out moment for me, the choreography was fun and different with the dancers wearing huge signature Breton jumpers joined together to symbolise the symbiotic relationship.

Amazing costumes in Fashion Freak Show
Fashion freaks come in all shapes and sizes. Photo credit Mark Senior

After the interval we move to wild nights at the Palace nightclub in Paris, and to the death from AIDs of Francis, this is portrayed balletically and movingly and was just beautiful.

Jean-Paul has always loved London and it's music scene in particular. Nile Rodgers has worked to showcase these inspirations from disco to pop to funk to rock to new wave and punk - this show has it all. And of course the finale has be Le Freak by Chic.

There really isn't anything else on in London quite this, I can guarantee that you'll leave with a smile on your face and a lightness to your step. Do go and see it.

When: Friday 15 July - Sunday 28 August 2022

Tuesday - Sunday at 7.30pm

Saturday & Sunday matinee at 2.30pm

Where: The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road,

London, NW1 8EH

Nearest tube station: Chalk Farm

Tickets from £10

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