Iconic French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier is bringing his acclaimed Fashion Freak Show extravaganza back to London this Summer 2022.
The show is to play a residency at the Roundhouse in Camden from Friday 15 July to Sunday 28 August 2022.
Fashion Freak Show was last seen at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in 2019 where it enjoyed rave reviews including four stars from the Guardian and The Times. The Times hailed it as a “slick, bouncy and extravagant production is an ideal summertime confection”.
Billed as eccentric, scandalous, provocative, exuberant and funny, the show covers 50 years of pop culture through Jean Paul’s enfant terrible lense, and sets the sensational life of the designer against his generation’s most defining political and cultural changes.
This all-singing, all dancing show also features iconic music – from Disco to Funk, from Pop to Rock and New Wave and Punk – and boasts a playlist of hits that have inspired the artist throughout his life.
Jean Paul Gaultier told the press that: “I’m so thrilled that my Fashion Freak Show will be returning to London to take up residence at the Roundhouse. After a two-year hiatus, I cannot think of a better place to celebrate the return of the show than my favourite city. London is dear to my heart and has always been 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.”
Fashion Freak Show originally premiered in Paris in 2019 at the legendary Folies Bergère, and has been updated and reimagined for the Roundhouse to be staged with a catwalk.
Actors, dancers and circus artists take to the stage and play outlandish, passionate, larger than life, provocative, sexy, sassy creatures and personalities. Set against a 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 witty names that Gaultier gave his creations in his fabulous men’s couture show of the early ’90s.
As author, director and costume designer, Jean Paul Gaultier looks back at an era with extravagance and tenderness and invites us 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, Jean Paul Gaultier shares his journal of the times and pays tribute to those who inspired him in film (Pedro Almodovar, Luc Besson), music (Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Mylene Farmer) and dance (Régine Chopinot, Angelin Prejlocaj). In the show, conceived like a grand party, Jean Paul Gaultier will surprise us yet again. He has designed hundreds of new exclusive outfits, showcased within an exuberant set – without forgetting to include his most iconic creations! He has collaborated with the best in their field, including the late actress, scriptwriter and director Tonie Marshall, who co-directed the show, and choreographer Marion Motin (Madonna, Christine and the Queens, Stromae, Résiste, La Comédie Musicale).
Marcus Davey – CEO and Artistic Director, Roundhouse said: “We’re incredibly excited to welcome Fashion Freak Show to the Roundhouse this summer. Jean Paul Gaultier has blazed an unmistakable trail over the last 50 years and often cited the music, culture and attitude of London as major influences. It feels fitting that we can bring this spectacular celebration of his life, impact and creative genius to our iconic space, which has been central to so many of the capital’s key cultural movements during his lifetime.”
Performances run from Friday 15 July – Sunday 28 August.