From sunny Australia, Marc der Veer (aka Drags Aloud’s Kris del Vayze) gives us the lowdown on a show which is currently appearing at St James’ Theatre.

Its Madge, Jim, but not as we know her!

In Vogue continues at St James Theatre until Sunday 22 December.

In Vogue continues at St James Theatre until Sunday 22 December.

To think that a man, a piano, a cup and a teapot could bring an enduring pop icon to life is almost unbelievable. Michael Griffiths does just that with this smash hit show from the Edinburgh Fringe. The public’s reaction to Madonna is a somewhat love/hate affair, but I would defy anyone to walk away from this well-honed cabaret offering without a new appreciation and perspective on Her Madgestie and her incredible volume of work.

The script is camp, yes, but it also bitingly humorous and satirical and still manages to hold considerable substance. Griffiths’ expertise, not only with his delivery but also his mastery of the keyboard, breathes new and unexpected life into her back catalogue of hits – and a few of her misses, by way of re-imagined arrangements of her songs. The anthem True Blue is presented as a ballad for example and there’s a spine-tingling version of Like a Prayer. Many of the favourites are included interspersed with anecdotes and observations on life, the music industry, marriage and motherhood all seen through the eyes of the Queen of Pop. No topic is too hot for Griffiths as sacred cows are roasted and Lady Gaga, who some see as a pretender to Madonna’s throne, is skewered.

Griffiths’ considerable cabaret experience is very much in evidence from the moment he appears on stage as he caresses his audience with an endearing personality, smooth vocals and massive charisma, becoming even more engaging as he occasionally crashes through the fourth wall. This show is massively enjoyable, the only negative is that its not longer!

In Vogue – Songs By Madonna. Performed by Michael Griffiths. St James Theatre, London SW1E 5JA. Continues until 22 September.

This is a review of the show from its Australian run.