Andrew Lloyd Webber is hoping to premiere his new musical Stephen Ward, based on the 1963 Profumo affair, before the end of the year.
According to the Daily Mail, "If the right theatre can be secured, then rehearsals for the show... will begin in October, and go into previews in late November."
Stephen Ward was a central player in the scandal, an osteopath and artist who introduced Profumo to Christine Keeler - with whom he would begin his notorious affair - at a country house party. He committed suicide on the last day of the trial.
Lloyd Webber is reportedly eyeing a "mid-sized" venue for the show, and an executive on the production told the Mail's Baz Bamigboye that a suitable theatre is "in sight". If the right space can't be found the premiere will be delayed until next year.
Regarding the casting of the title role, Bamigboye adds: "Alexander Hanson is front-runner to portray Ward, but he's also in the mix to play Simon Cowell in the X Factor show called It's Time To Face The Musical, which will open at the London Palladium next year."
In other news related to the production, book writer Christopher Hampton told the Evening Standard that he doesn't believe Christine Keeler ever slept with Russian spy Evgeny Ivanov. "I think the newspaper (the News of the World) just made it up," he said.
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