Andrew Lloyd Webber's most famous theatrical creation The Phantom of the Opera features a chandelier that crashes down over the auditorium of the Paris Opera House. By a tragic coincidence, the same night that Lloyd Webber's latest musical Stephen Ward opened in the West End, the roof of another theatre - formerly owned by Lloyd Webber - came crashing down, too, even as Stephen Ward itself tells the real-life story of a life that is being sent into a freefall of its own by being... Read more
1963. The scandal that shocked society. Stephen Ward deals with the victim of the Profumo Affair - not, as is widely supposed, 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 twentieth century as Oscar Wilde's was to the nineteenth - from which he was the only protagonist to emerge with some dignity and honour - 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 recognise 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 fifties gave way to the classless, truculent, unstoppable sixties.'