Andrew Lloyd Webber's Stephen Ward Will Premiere at West End's Aldwych Theatre in December
27 Jun 2013
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
The world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical Stephen Ward will begin performances Dec. 3 at the West End's Aldwych Theatre, prior to an official opening Dec. 19. Public booking opens June 28, for performances through March 1, 2014.
Lloyd Webber, who has written the music, is joined by Christopher Hampton and Don Black to write the book and lyrics. They previously teamed with the composer on Sunset Boulevard.
The production will be directed by Richard Eyre (Mary Poppins), with designs by Rob Howell (Matilda), choreography by Stephen Mear (Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid on Broaway), lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by Paul Groothuis.
Stephen Ward is produced by Robert Fox Limited and the Really Useful Group.
Casting is still to be announced.
Set in 1963, the show revolves around a scandal that shocked society. Its title character is one of the victims of the Profumo Affair - not John Profumo himself, the disgraced Minister for War, nor even the fatally wounded Conservative government of Harold Macmillan, but the society osteopath whose private libertarian experiments blew up in his own and everyone else's face. In a trial as emblematic to the 20th century as Oscar Wilde's was to the 19th - from which he was the only protagonist to emerge with some dignity and honor - Ward became the targeted scapegoat of a furiously self-righteous Establishment. By no means a hero, he was a reluctant martyr, thanks to an unholy alliance between press and police of a kind we can all too readily recognize today; inadvertently, he was the hinge between two worlds and the harbinger of a revolution in manners, music and morals when the ordered, stuffy, respectful universe of the 1950s gave way to the classless, truculent, unstoppable '60s.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.