Alexander Hanson (We Will Rock You, A Little Night Music) and Hal Fowler (Carousel, Macbeth) will star as Stephen Ward and Britain's former War Secretary John Profumo, respectively, in a reading of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical, according to The Daily Mail.
The untitled musical is co-created by Lloyd Webber's former Sunset Boulevard collaborators Don Black and Christopher Hampton. The story focuses on John Profumo (Fowler), Secretary of State for war under Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, who had an affair with a call girl named Christine Keeler. The pair met through Stephen Ward (Hanson), an osteopath who was then accused and tried for pimping out women in the scandal. Though the charges were ultimately dropped, he killed himself soon after the trial.The reading, directed by Richard Eyre, is speculated to take place at the end of February.
Joining Hanson and Fowler for the reading are Iris Roberts (The Heart of Robin Hood) as Christine Keeler and Carley Bawden (My Fair Lady) as Mandy Rice Davies, the ladies at the center of the scandal.
Previous reports speculated that Smash and West End star Julian Ovenden would star as Ward in the musical, which still may be the case as Lloyd Webber has stated, “All we’re doing [for this reading] is putting a bunch of people, who are good sight-readers, around a piano to see what works.”