Andrew Lloyd Webber’s (pictured) new musical, working title Stephen Ward, is set to open at the West End's Aldwych Theatre at the beginning of 2014, following a 16-week run of This House that will commence there this September.
Lloyd Webber's hotly-anticipated new show, based on the events of the government-rocking 1962 Profumo scandal, was given a read-through earlier this year, presided over by five-times Olivier-winning director Richard Eyre.
Participants included Alexander Hanson as Stephen Ward, Hal Fowler as John Profumo, Iris Roberts as Christine Keeler and Carley Bawden as Mandy Rice-Davies. Whether or not these actors will appear in the full-fledged production has yet to be confirmed.
Hanson's previous West End credits include We Will Rock You and A Little Night Music. Fowler has appeared in Carousel and Macbeth; Roberts in The Heart of Robin Hood, and Bawden in My Fair Lady.
Lloyd Webber has reunited with his Sunset Boulevard collaborators, lyricist Don Black and playwright Christopher Hampton, for the project. Barring a couple of songs he composed for The Wizard Of Oz, it will be his first original work since Love Never Dies in 2010.
The so-called Profumo Affair had a seismic effect on British society, effectively bringing to an end the public deference to politicians and other public figures that had been the norm up 'til then.
John Profumo was the British Government's Secretary of State for War at the height of the Cold War with the USSR. When his affair with high-class call girl Christine Keeler was exposed, it emerged that she had also been conducting a relationship with a high-ranking Soviet official.
Osteopath Stephen Ward (left), who had introduced the various parties to one another, was eventually pressured into taking his own life. The new musical will take Ward's story as its central focus. Lloyd Webber has said that its music will pastiche the styles of its period setting, including jazz, swing, skiffle and early rock.
Lloyd Webber is the world's most successful composer of musicals, with Phantom, Cats and Evita just three of his many globe-straddling hits.
Black and Hampton won Tony Awards for their work on Sunset Boulevard. Black's other credits as a lyricist include Bonnie & Clyde, Bombay Dreams and Aspects of Love. Hampton's plays include The Philanthropist and Les Liasons Dangereuses.
Watch this space for more information and to book tickets for Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre as soon as they are made available.