If you are interested in theatre then you will know that there is an upcoming musical that everybody is getting excited about. This is of course ‘Stephen Ward’. A lot of excitement and hysteria is understandably surrounding this show. Not only is the music being provided by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the show being directed by Richard Eyre, but it follows the true story of the 1963 political scandal that shook Britain. This is of course the Profumo Affair.
This is a story that has gone down in British history. The effects on the Conservative government, who were ruling at the time, were monumental. So, let’s dig a little bit deeper and discover more about this musical’s incredible plot…
One of the most fascinating things about this musical is that it focuses on Stephen Ward. The two individuals at the heart of the affair were of course, John Profumo and Christine Keeler. To see the scandal unfold through the eyes of someone else involved in the scandal makes it even more fascinating. But don’t worry; Ward is no passer-by or narrator. He was at the heart of the Profumo Affair.
Before delving into the role of Stephen Ward it is first important to reveal a little bit more about the history of the scandal itself for those who are unaware. Basically, John Profumo was an MP at the time – the Secretary of State of War to be precise. He had an affair with a showgirl called Christine Keeler. The reason why this caused so much upheaval is because Keeler was believed to be involved with an alleged Soviet spy at the same time as well. As most affairs do, it became public knowledge. Profumo was even questioned about it in the House of Commons. He denied it at the time but he had to resign as a consequence.
But, what does Mr. Ward have to do with this? Well, the answer is; a lot! Stephen Ward actually introduced the pair. He lived with Christine Keeler, yet despite having a bit of a reputation with the ladies, their relationship was 100 per cent platonic. Keeler met Profumo at one of Ward’s parties. Parties were something the social osteopath was well-known for. Despite being a health professional, Ward truly excelled on the social front. He was popular with many celebrities and important figures and his parties were not to be missed.
However, when the Profumo Affair came to light, Ward was one of the individuals who ended up being part of the fall-out. His character was severely compromised as he ended up being charged for knowingly living with prostitutes, procuring prostitutes and earning money from them as well. During the trial Ward’s character was battered and tragedy arose as a result. Ward ended up overdosing on sleeping pills and actually died the day before the verdict was given – a true tragedy.
The musical follows this emotional roller-coaster and is certainly not to be missed. Snap up your tickets before it is too late. You won’t regret it.
Keira Rose is an experienced theatre reviewer who has an extremely credible reputation in the industry. She is looking forward to seeing the upcoming Stephen Ward musical that is set to hit the West End at the end of the year.