Stephen Ward is Andrew Lloyd Webbers latest production, based on the famous 1963 Profumo Affair. A British political sex scandal between Secretary of State for War, John Profumo and Christine Keeler, a 19 year old showgirl.
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Christopher Hampton and Don Black, critics were divided when the show opened at London’s Adelphi Theatre in December 2013.
Human Sacrifice starts the show, an almost spoken introduction about who Stephen Ward was and how he came to be the man he was. Super Duper Hula Hooper is one of the most bizarre songs Andrew Lloyd Webber may have ever written. “Don’t be a party pooper be a super duper hula hooper”, says it all really! When You Get To Know Me is a slow jazz number which introduces the first time Stephen met Christine Keeler in a night club.
There are moments your ears perk up with that warm feeling of recognition hearing snippets of Lloyd Webber classics like Love Never Dies and Whistle Down The Wind. This Side Of The Sky is beautiful and sounds very much like something that could have come out of Phantom Of The Opera. Manipulation has moment of Love Never Dies ‘Devil Take The Hindmost’. I’m Hopeless When It Comes To You has a definite moment of Whistle Down The Winds ‘No Matter What”.
You’ve Never Had It So Good sounds like an ode to bondage with lines like “It’s down on your knees but no praying, smother me in strawberries and lick me, don’t hang about and use me” and Black Hearted Woman has a Caribbean twist.
Stephen Ward is a brilliant recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber at his finest, cleverly intertwining melodies of his greatest shows. You could almost call it a Best Of album of his work! I can’t stop listening to it at the moment! Absolutely worth a listen for any fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Click here to buy top price tickets to see Stephen Ward for just £39.50