Belfast Telegraph

Lloyd Webber eyes Profumo musical

Andrew Lloyd Webber is considering a musical about a key figure in the Profumo affair.

The stage maestro said he found the story of Stephen Ward - who had a pivotal role in the scandal - intriguing and could use it for his next production.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the episode which led to the downfall of the then secretary of state for war, John Profumo.

The story of his affair with showgirl Christine Keeler was chronicled in the 1989 film Scandal.

It starred Joanne Whalley as Keeler, Sir Ian McKellen as Profumo and John Hurt as Ward, a society figure who introduced the pair at a party at Cliveden and was central to the tale.

In the fallout from the affair, he faced charges of living off immoral earnings but died as a result of an overdose of sleeping tablets. Ward was found guilty although he was dead before sentencing.

Lord Lloyd-Webber - soon to lead an ITV1 search for the star to lead the cast in a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar - said Ward's story could form the basis for his next new musical.

He told Chris Evans on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show: "I'm looking for a subject at the moment and I think I've found one. You always have to go and try these things.

"Stephen Ward really intrigues me and was a fantastically interesting character. The most popular man in London who ended up with absolutely nobody after the trial and everything.

"I kind of think he was the fall guy."

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