Last night Madonna was due to perform her first-ever concert in Moscow, except she pushed the date back a day in case she inadvertently offended anyone marking the anniversary of 9/11.
But guess what? Madonna is going to offend loads of people tonight. Before the concert takes place, Madonna has been hit with the full-force of protests from the Russian Orthodox Church. However, this time the protests aren't about the way that Madonna deliberately courts controversy by taking the piss out of Jesus with her tired old mirrored cross Live To Tell routine, but because church leaders are worried that a woman of her age running around in the extreme cold of Moscow in those tiny leotards could get chilblains on her labia.
Oh, OK, they're angry at Madonna's Jesus thing.
Everyone Madonna has gone on her Confessions world tour, she's come face to face with all sorts of trouble. Although there are plenty of reasons to be annoyed at Madonna's world tour – the stupidly expensive ticket prices, Madonna being all weird about toilets, the way that Madonna sort of behaves in the embarrassing way your Mum would if she divorced your Dad and started going to nightclubs with you – but what has attracted the most ire, as if you needed telling, is the part of the concert where Madonna sings Live To Tell while strapped to a big mirrored crucifix as pictures of sad Africans are displayed behind her.
So far on Madonna's world tour, Madonna has been hit with criticism from The Church of England, all the Catholics, Jews and Muslims in Italy and all the Germans who wanted to prosecute Madonna for the stunt before half-heartedly changing their minds. Ironically, Jesus is cool with Madonna twatting about on a cross, but that message hasn't got as far as Moscow, where Madonna makes her highly-anticipated live debut tonight. As you'd expect, Russian religious leaders are all up in arms about Madonna's stunt, including Father Vsevolod Chaplin of the Russian Orthodox Church, who said:
“This lady has been glorifying human passions with the help of religious symbols for years — crosses, statues and beads. Now she thinks it is time for her to crucify herself in public. It means the singer is in need of spiritual help.”
All this controversy about Madonna's crucifixion is thought to have inspired her husband Guy Ritchie to make a film all about the religious implications of her bold stunt. Only instead of a crucifix, the focus of the movie will be a sports bag full of stolen DVDs, and instead of the lead character being a singer like Madonna, it'll star Jason Statham. But Guy Ritchie has promised that he'll make Statham wear a leotard that's just as harrowing as Madonna's, so we can all rest easy.
[story by Stuart Heritage]