Eccentric, scandalous, provocative, exuberant and funny as ever, internationally renowned designer Jean Paul Gaultier is shaking up London with his stunning new creation, Fashion Freak Show. The production, an explosive combination of a revue and fashion show, will play at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall for 13 performances only from 23 July to 2 August 2019.
Fashion Freak Show is currently enjoying an acclaimed run in Paris at the iconic Folies Bergère. Tickets for its UK premiere go on general sale this Friday 5 April 2019.
In this extraordinary production, actors, dancers and circus artists take to the stage and play outlandish, passionate, larger than life, rude, sexy, sassy creatures and personalities.
Set against the backdrop of a giant video wall, a key part of the production features vignettes of special guest stars – including a number of Gaultier’s long-term, iconic supporters and friends. Rossy de Palma plays the young Gaultier’s unforgiving schoolteacher, who harbours secret fashion fantasies of her own, while Catherine Deneuve reads out the hysterical names that Gaultier gave the creations in his fabulous men’s couture show of the early 1990s.
As author, director and costume designer, Jean Paul Gaultier takes a look at our times in both an extravagant and tender way, and invites audiences behind the scenes into his world filled with excess, poetry and magic.
From his childhood to his early career, from his greatest fashion shows to the wild nights in Le Palace or London, Gaultier shares his journal of the times and pays tribute to those who have inspired him in film (Pedro Almodovar, Luc Besson), music (Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Mylène Farmer) and dance (Régine Chopinot, Angelin Prejlocaj).
For the show, conceived like a grand party, Gaultier has designed hundreds of new exclusive outfits, incorporated within an exuberant set – without forgetting to invite his most iconic creations. He has collaborated with actress, scriptwriter and director Tonie Marshall, who co-directs the show, and choreographer Marion Motin.
From disco to funk, from pop to rock and new wave and punk, the Fashion Freak Show is an explosive playlist of hits that have inspired the artist throughout his life.
Jean Paul Gaultier said:
“I am honoured that my Fashion Freak Show will premiere at Southbank Centre. London is dear to my heart and a constant source of inspiration. I have been coming here since my youth and have been greatly influenced by British music, theatre and cinema throughout my career from the Rocky Horror Show through Punk and New Wave and I keep coming back. I hope that audiences will enjoy the show as much as I did creating it.”
Rupert Thomson, Senior Programmer for Performance and Dance, Southbank Centre, added: “Jean-Paul Gaultier is an idiosyncratic visionary, and his Fashion Freak Show comes with all the quirkiness, sexiness, French-ness and brio of the man himself. We are delighted to be presenting this run at Southbank Centre direct from its triumphant opening at the Folies Bergère in Paris, to give London audiences a chance to encounter, live, the great good fun, genius fashion, and raucous influences of Gaultier’s life.”