Stephen Ward - Scapegoat
Global hit-maker Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s new musical spotlights the world of Stephen Ward – the social cavalier who knew everyone who mattered – and his enigmatic role in the great political scandal of the 20th Century.
Yet, few truly knew the rakish charmer who was the catalytic character of The Profumo Affair.
A talented osteopath and artist, Stephen Ward treated, sketched and seduced the great and often not-so-good of the post-war years. He healed Churchill, Gandhi, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor; he drew Princess Margaret, the Duke of Edinburgh, Harold Macmillan and, of course, Christine Keeler, whose striking likeness by him hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Everyone loved the superbly well connected Stephen Ward.
But when Christine Keeler slept with two of his friends – British War Minister John Profumo and Soviet superspy Eugene Ivanov – President Kennedy’s White House went haywire. Suspicion and scandal cast a shroud over Dr Ward’s world.
In the middle of a nuclear poker game, Stephen Ward soon had MI5 and MI6 snapping at his heels, along with the KGB, the CIA and the FBI at his shoulder. The spooks all feared what he might know – or do. The British Establishment, keen to see him gone, brushed him off.
The infamous persecution, tortuous trial and death of Stephen Ward still shocks. Now, best-selling author Douglas Thompson has traced confidants of Stephen Ward, speaking for the first time in more than half a century. Along with newly-discovered government documents, he has gathered their eyewitness accounts of Downing Street intrigue, sex orgies and dangerous liaisons. Posterity is ferociously capricious but there are still those alive who know the secrets and the true story of Stephen Ward, which is brilliantly told here in Scapegoat.
Paul Nicholas directs and stars in Keeler at the Charing Cross Theatre based on the 2001 autobiography 'The Truth At Last' by Christine Keeler with Douglas Thompson.
Gill Adams’ play, with Christine Keeler's sanction and involvement, reveals the sensational inside story of the infamous Profumo affair - Britain's biggest political sex scandal of the 20th Century.
'Gill Adams' script for Keeler is brilliant – she tells it like it was' Christine Keeler
★★★★ 'We can't be sure what really happened, but this dramatisation of the Profumo scandal makes for an admirable – and topical – night of theatre. With Sarah Armstrong in the title role and a superb ensemble, it gets to the heart of the story..... Michael Good makes a wonderfully emotionally stunted Profumo, but it is Paul Nicholas who gives the performance of the night as the seedy Stephen Ward' The Daily Telegraph
'Sarah Armstrong is alluring as Christine Keeler' The Sunday Times
'Sarah Armstrong’s Keeler has a pleasing vulnerability and nervous cheekiness: you wince for her... sleek, patriarchal, patronizing, with a curious sexually ambivalent prurience, Paul Nicholas as Stephen Ward convinces as a man satisfied with himself' Libby Purves
'A good mixture of sex, cabaret and international politics guarantee a very entertaining evening' Everything Theatre
'The set, costumes and lighting are undeniably beautiful and – with a little help from a dulcet 60s soundtrack – effectively captures the atmosphere of shady nightclubs in the Cold War era' Bargain Theatreland
In 1963, John 'Jack' Profumo, the Secretary of State for war, was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had lied to the House about the nature of his relationship with a young showgirl Christine Keeler. Keeler was also involved with a Russian spy at the same time. The scandal that followed was partly responsible for the resignation of the Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and the suicide of Stephen Ward, the man who introduced Keeler to Profumo.
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Christine Keeler - The Truth At Last
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in Vanity Fair
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