Camden Roundhouse, London – until 28 August 2022
After its debut in France in 2019 Jean Paul Gaultier brings his fashion show cabaret to London. I have adored JPG since Eurotrash so I was very excited to see what this show had to offer. It is everything and more you would expect from the original Enfant Terrible of Fashion-gratuitous, bright, loud and a fantastic tribute to his 50 years-plus of working in fashion.
It is a biographical journey from his work at Pierre Cardin to his first love to his international success. You know when the video of an actor playing JPG as a child sewing the infamous cone breasts to his teddy bear that this is going to be a wild and funny show that never takes it self too seriously. There is a brief and moving reference to HIV and AIDS in the community JPG made his home, which is moving without being mawkish.
As a theatre blogger I am not very fashionable (I felt underdressed at the press night) but this show demonstrates JPG’s stunning ideas and technical ability as well as his ongoing relationship with blurring gender and other social norms. JPG isn’t just stripes and cone breasts.
The use of music and dance (all types) along with some interesting guests via video makes Fashion Freak Show one of the most interesting and diverse shows in London right now. Even if you aren’t a fashionista JPG is such a fascinating man that you will enjoy learning about him and getting to see his work in person.
Fashion Freak Show is on at the Roundhouse until 28 August 2022.