Stephen Ward received its world premiere in December last year with a cast led by Alexander Hanson in the title role, Charlotte Spencer as Christine Keeler and Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice Davies. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Wardhas book and lyrics by playwright Christopher Hampton and lyricist Don Black.
The production is directed by Richard Eyre with set and costume designs by Rob Howell, lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Paul Groothuis, projection design by Jon Driscoll and choreography by Stephen Mear.
1963. The scandal that shocked society. Stephen Ward charts the rise and fall from grace of the man at the centre of the Profumo affair. Friend to film stars, spies, models, government ministers and aristocrats, his rise and ultimate disgrace coincided with the increasingly permissive lifestyle of London’s elite in the early 1960’s. The musical centres on Ward’s involvement with the young and beautiful Christine Keeler and their chance meeting in a West End night club which led to one of the biggest political scandals and trials of the 20th century.
Robert Fox, Producer, said: “I am very proud of the show and our wonderful Company. Andrew has never been afraid to embrace difficult and challenging subject matters and Ward’s strong and compelling story highlights a serious miscarriage of justice. The piece set out to explore his fascinating life as a piece of serious theatre which has now been told to a new generation. The strong critical reviews commend what I think is possibly Andrew’s best score in years, paired with some of the finest writing and lyrics Don and Christopher have ever delivered. I am very sad to see the show close in London but firmly believe this piece will be seen by many audiences in the future.”
In December 2013 Geoffrey Robertson QC published his book – Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK – an examination of the trial of Stephen Ward. Ward committed suicide after the judge’s summing up and before his conviction on charges of living on the earnings of prostitutes. In his book, Robertson demonstrates that Ward was innocent and that Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies were not prostitutes and they lived off his earnings as a successful osteopath and portrait painter. With the aim of overturning the verdict, Robertson’s book was sent to the Criminal Case Review Commission. Solicitor Anthony Burton has lodged the application to overturn Ward’s conviction. Last month, Lord Dubs raised a question in the House of Lords over why the full transcript of Stephen Ward’s trial has still not been released to the public fifty years after it took place.
The West End cast for Stephen Ward comprises Alexander Hanson (Stephen Ward), Charlotte Spencer (Christine Keeler), Charlotte Blackledge (Mandy Rice Davies), Anthony Calf (Lord Astor), Daniel Flynn (John Profumo), Joanna Riding (Valerie Hobson), Ian Conningham (Ivanov), Chris Howell (Murray), Ricardo Coke Thomas (Lucky Gordon) and Wayne Robinson (Johnny Edgecombe). Other cast members are Martin Callaghan, Kate Coyston, Jason Denton, Julian Forsyth, Amy Griffiths, Paul Kemble, Emma Kate Nelson, Carl Sanderson, Emily Squibb, John Stacey, Helen Ternent and Tim Walton.
The London cast recording of Stephen Ward was released by Decca. Stephen Ward is produced by Robert Fox Limited and The Really Useful Group.
Monday 24th January 2014