Frog-marched by my caregiver (wife) to see the aging pop star, Madonna, my only concern was: Would I be recognised as NZ's oldest dad and therefore perceived disdainfully by the youthful audience as a weird old man who'd come along merely to lewdly eye Madonna's still sexy legs?

I shouldn't have worried, because the audience turned out to be reasonably mature, which really carbon dates the fact that Madonna herself is no longer a spring chicken.

Much of the theatricals were predictable. The complex stage was constructed in a shape representing some sort of phallus complete with testicles combined with a cross, leaving it obvious to onlookers the expected modus operandi of the performer.

Madonna didn't disappoint. Even for this cynical, grumpy old man, her personal performance and her team of dancers electrified the audience, with a heady mixture of dance routines, ear-blasting songs and bedazzling videos.


Arriving at the venue, the evening commenced rather unusually while visiting the gents, to acquire some toilet paper, to prudently plug my ears from the explosive noise levels I was expecting.

I noted in a corner of the toilet floor a couple of spent syringes, plus some bloodied paper and a couple of single-cigar aluminium cases.

You learn something new every day. Cigar containers obviously make the ideal concealed packaging for those wishing to shoot substances into their bodies on site.

Reflecting on news stories this week, I can understand why the hierarchical authorities of the Catholic Church view the moral showmanship of Madonna and her troop disturbing. The pop star lavishly exploits the symbols of Christianity using crosses, high altars and actors dressed as bishops, priests and nuns. The fact that the nuns are naked from the waist down other than having their bottoms encased in white knickers, therefore blatantly marrying religious showmanship with visual lubricity, will not have been lost on those trying to preserve papal authority.

However, as this ancient organisation appear to be having their own problems busily denying acts of expediency and duplicity in child abuse cases, they're not really in a position as a potential black kettle to cast critical aspersions at a black pot in the shape of Madonna. The mixture of dance, sexual stimulation and religious symbolism has, of course, been practiced since the beginning of time, long before the foundation of Christianity.

Madonna's just brought it up to date, with her startling use of technology.

I felt slightly concerned for her as the evening wore on, believing she might be going down with a cold. I noticed that after going off stage for a costume change that she seemed to have an itchy nose, that she kept rubbing, and I wondered if she might have been over-ingesting some ephedrine nose-drops or something of a similar nature. This became more obvious when she tried a bit of ham acting with a young lady from the audience involving a complex dialogue and consuming together a banana in some sort of suggestive lewd act, and ended up falling on the stage. However, that trifle aside, Madonna is still, in spite of her advancing age, a pop star packed full of dynamite and I am glad I had the opportunity to see her perform.

In retaliation, I'm taking the caregiver to see Shakespeare's Henry V later this week at the pop-up theatre. I don't expect we'll be as enthralled or entertained as spectacularly as we were by Madonna, but as it's an all-woman cast, you never know.