The season's hottest scandal has found its players! Casting is complete for the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical Stephen Ward in the West End, based on the Profumo affair of 1963. Alexander Hanson and Charlotte Spencer will lead the production as osteopathic physician Stephen Ward and showgirl Christine Keeler, respectively, with West End newcomer Charlotte Blackledge taking on the role of Keeler's friend Mandy Rice-Davies. Directed by five-time Olivier winner Richard Eyre, Stephen Ward begins previews December 3, 2013 at the Aldwych Theatre, with an official opening night set for December 19.
Hanson played Pilate in the UK arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. He garnered an Olivier Award nomination for the 2008 West End musical Marguerite. His additional U.K. theater credits include A Little Night Music, We Will Rock You, The Sound of Music, Candide, Copenhagen, Sunset Boulevard and The Merchant of Venice. His film and TV credits include Party Animals, The Last Detective II, Rosemary and Thyme and Heartbeat.
Spencer’s West End credits include Mary Poppins and Oliver. Her film and TV appearances include Les Miserables, Dark Shadows, Wild Bill, Hotel Babylon, Genie in the House, Five Days and Mr. Selfridge.
Stephen Ward also stars Anthony Calf (Private Lives) as Lord Astor, Daniel Flynn (Richard II) as John Profumo, Joanna Riding (The Pajama Game) as Valerie Hobson, Ian Conningham (Betty Blue Eyes) as Ivanov, Chris Howell (Betty Blue Eyes) as Murray, Ricardo Coke Thomas (Shrek the Musical) as Lucky Gordon and Wayne Robinson (We Will Rock You) as Johnny Edgecomp. The production will also feature 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.
Featuring a book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black (who also worked with Webber on Sunset Boulevard), Stephen Ward tells the story of Stephen Ward (Hanson), an osteopath who meets the young and beautiful Christine Keeler (Spencer) in a West End night club, and how their chance meeting led to one of the biggest political scandals and trials of the 20th century.
The Stephen Ward creative team includes designer Rob Howell, choreographer Stephen Mear, lighting designer Peter Mumford and sound designer Paul Groothuis.