Madonna secretly hires out huge UK arena for tour rehearsals ahead of huge first date in London
MADONNA has gone from the Queen of Pop to Queen of the North – after setting up camp in Manchester.
I can reveal that the superstar has flown into the city for intense, last-minute rehearsals ahead of her 78-date Celebration Tour, which kicks off at London’s O2 Arena on October 14.
Madge has flown into Manchester for intense, last-minute rehearsals ahead of her 78-date Celebration TourCredit: Madonna/Instagram
The shows, which will see her perform her biggest hits, will be the most expensive she’s ever staged, with fans set to be wowed by an elaborate production
Madonna jetted into the UK with her army of dancers and backing singers.
They are perfecting the show before full technical and dress rehearsals this weekend.
The Vogue singer has rented Manchester’s entire 21,000-seat AO Arena so she can make sure everything runs smoothly.
And Madge, a renowned stickler for perfection in her live performances, will then have less than 48 hours to set up at the O2 and iron out any issues before her opening gig there.
But it seems the singer, who was admitted to intensive care in June after suffering a serious bacterial infection, isn’t cutting any corners.
I understand her tour boasts one of the most spectacular set-ups she has ever delivered.
As well as multiple stages across the arena floor, the production includes several trapdoors and three giant screens.
Madonna is said to have been influenced by Post Malone’s Twelve Carat Tour, enlisting his creative director Lewis James to help put her production together.
The rapper’s 2022/23 trek was heavy on lighting, strobes and pyrotechnics.
The fact that Madonna has reunited with Stuart Price — the musical director for several of her past global tours, which were met with worldwide acclaim — could hint at what’s in store this time.
As for the all-important set list, I’m told it will see her perform some songs she has not brought out in years, including a stripped-back version of 1998 hit Nothing Really Matters.
A source said: “Madonna’s tour will be epic.
“She is now locked in full rehearsal days, some of which are 12 hours long.
“The stage is the most elaborate that she has ever taken on the road.
“The tour is a celebration of her record-breaking career, so every- thing has to be perfect.”
Just in case there wasn’t enough diva power, the seven-time Grammy winner has also enlisted designer Donatella Versace to help craft some of her looks.
Madonna is clearly raring to go after her health scare.
And I, for one, can’t wait to see what she has in store.