Andrew Lloyd Webber's eagerly anticipated new musical Stephen Ward has announced its cast.
The show commences previews at the West End's Aldwych Theatre on 19 December, and will feature Alexander Hanson (pictured centre), a veteran of Lloyd Webber productions, in the title role of society osteopath Ward, who unwittingly triggered the Profumo scandal of 1963 and was hounded to an early grave for his trouble.
As previously reported, Hanson took the part of Ward at a read-through with director Richard Eyre earlier this year. He's the only participant of that read-through to have been cast in the show per se.
He'll be joined by Charlotte Spencer (left) as Christine Keeler, the high-class call-girl whose conflicting relationships with British Secretary of State for War John Profumo and a senior Soviet official were at the heart of the scandal.
The remaining cast includes Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice Davies (right), Anthony Calf as Lord Astor, Daniel Flynn as John Profumo and Joanna Riding as Valerie Hobson.
Hanson was seen most recently on stage in the UK arena tour of Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he played Pontius Pilate. Among his other credits are Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard at the Adelphi Theatre, A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory and on its subsequent West End and Broadway transfers, Marguerite at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, and The Sound of Music at the London Palladium.
Blackledge is making her professional stage debut in Stephen Ward.
Flynn’s credits include Bracken Moor at the Tricycle Theatre, 55 Days at the Hampstead Theatre and Richard II and Translations at the Donmar Warehouse.
Two-times Olivier Award-winner Riding appeared recently in Richard Eyre’s production of The Pajama Game at Chichester Festival Theatre. Her other credits include Billy Elliott at the Victoria Palace Theatre and Lend Me a Tenor and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Gielgud Theatre.
Lloyd Webber has reunited with his Sunset Boulevard collaborators, lyricist Don Black and playwright Christopher Hampton, for Stephen Ward. Barring a couple of songs he composed for The Wizard Of Oz, it is his first original work since Love Never Dies in 2010.