I drew BAFTA-nominated English actress Charlotte Spencer in her role as Christine Keeler in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical STEPHEN WARD, which she signed for me at the Aldwych Theatre back in 2013. She returned to the London stage earlier this year in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s revival of Terrance Rattigan’s LOVE IN IDLENESS, which transferred to the Apollo in May, playing Diane Fletcher, the estranged ‘yet not entirely uncooperative wife” of Tory minister Siri John Fletcher. Charlotte also signed this drawing for me at the stage door.
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Christopher Hampton and Don Black, and directed by Richard Eyre, Stephen Ward centres on the title character’s involvement with the young showgirl Christine Keeler that lead to one of the biggest scandals and most famous trials of the 20th century.
On the 50th anniversary, it deals with Ward as the ‘victim’ who was set up as a scapegoat when the scandal put the skids under Macmillan’s government in 1963. The Telegraph’s critic Charles Spencer suggests, “A show that may well play a part in the current campaign to quash the society osteopath’s trumped up conviction for living on immoral earnings.”
Alexander Hanson plays the charming and suave well connected bachelor Stephen Ward. Charlotte Spencer is the glamorous Keeler, and Charlotte Blackledge is her bubbly friend Mandy Rice-Davies.
The London wind and rain kindly subsided to allow the three leads to sign my sketch at the uncovered Aldwych stage door after last night’s performance.