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Madonna kicks off UK tour

Madonna promises a theatrical presentation of her music
Madonna promises a theatrical presentation of her music  


LONDON, England -- Pop superstar Madonna kicks off the UK leg of her Drowned World tour on Wednesday -- with tickets for the London shows being sold for hundreds of pounds on the black market.

The UK has not seen the pop diva perform since her Girlie Show gigs of 1993, and fans can expect to see a spectacular show already showcased around other European capitals.

Around 100,000 tickets for the London shows were sold out in six hours when they first went on sale.

Wednesday night's show is the first of a six-night run at Earl's Court in west London, with 16,000 fans officially paying between 40 ($56) and 85 ($119).

 REFERENCE
Madonna The Madonna File

 • Fashion Quiz
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 • 'Music' review
 • 'Music' secrets
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 • Video: 'Music'

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   Part one
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Many have paid much more, with Internet auctions seeing tickets change hands in excess of 500 ($700) each.

Die-hard fans shelled out hundreds of pounds in November last year for tickets to an exclusive one-off club date which Madonna performed at London's Brixton Academy.

The Grammy-award winner has reportedly said of her show: "It's a theatrical presentation of my music I've taken inspiration from many things -- martial arts, Flamenco, country and western, punk, rock 'n roll, Butoh dance and the circus."

Audiences in Europe have already seen her stunning performances, featuring the star's newly acquired talent -- playing the guitar -- which she has studied for the past eight months.

Madonna is said to have a variety of costume changes during her performance and even flies across the stage during the geisha-style section of the gig.

During one part of the show Madonna rides a mechanical bull which was blessed by a local priest when it was built in Cheyenne, Oklahoma.

The show consists of an entourage of nearly 200 people on the road, while 100 local production staff are recruited for each concert.

More than 100 tonnes of equipment are needed to stage the concerts and two Boeing 747s were needed to fly it from Los Angeles to Europe.





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