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 Posted:   Mar 26, 2014 - 4:51 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Slightly off topic but this might be of interest on the main board
Saw ' Stephen Ward' at the Aldwyhch Theatre, London last night. This British stage musical closes on Saturday after a run of just over three months. It's beyond me why it's closing so soon.Telling the srory of Stephen Ward, a major protagonist in the Profumo Affair' that rocked the UK Government in 1963.

It's dramatic, funny, has some gorgeous songs composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black, an intelligent book by Christopher Hampton and wonderful performances from Alex Hanson as Ward, Charlotte Spencer as Christine Keeler, looking very much like a young Diana Rigg, and Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice Davis.

Here's one of the early songs, 'When You Get To Know Me'. Stephen Ward meets Christine Keeler for the first time in a night club. As they talk at a table the gorgeous melody for the song is established by a flute instrumental, then they go on to the dance floor and as they dance, perform the vocal:

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2014 - 7:09 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Pleasant song has a 1960's bossa nova type of flow to it. It could be potentially a gorgeous piece because the composition is there, but they leave it in it's arraignment as a type of late 60' s early 70's BROADWAY style[COMPANY, PROMISES PROMISES ETC]

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2014 - 7:51 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

We've actually had some discussion about this show previously Peter, on the 'Cast Recordings' thread on the other board (mostly by me, I have to say). I agree, it's a fine score with some good songs by Lloyd Webber.

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=7&pageID=3&threadID=98845&archive=0

The show was only booked at The Aldwych until the end of March, they had hoped to extend the run but not to be. At least ALW is still prepared to take risks and try something new. He hasn't really had a hit show in 20 years. Tim Rice said recently that there is no market for new original musicals anymore. People just want to see musicals of Disney films or crappy 'jukebox' musicals. I have to agree with him.

I'm going to see 'Stephen Ward' on Saturday night, looking forward to it.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2014 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Sad indeed, but everything has it's day I guess, The most inevitable thing is change.

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2014 - 8:43 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

I just can't believe Stephen Ward is finishing after just a 3 month run. It's a high quality production and the fact that it's not supported by the theatre going public says more about their taste than it does the show. Have a good time on Saturday, Thomas. My regret is I didn't see it more than once. Hopefully it'll return, one day.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2014 - 7:05 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

It is a shame that this will probably never get to Broadway because MR WEBBER has not lost his touch.

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 2:24 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Absolutely, Dan. I thought that Llloyd Webber was finished after the poor 'Love Never Dies' but 'Stephen Ward' is a stunning return to form.

Here's another great song '1963' Keeler and Rice Davis return from US and spend Christmas 1962 in Ward's apartment. Here they look forward to what the new year might bring:

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 11:41 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

One of the most underrated songs from ANDREW IS SEEING IS BELIEVING, well at least it got some exposure from ASPECTS OF LOVE for the hardcore theatre crowd. But I feel that number is as pretty a song you can make. It's a shame they didn't take out a weak number from CATS and used that one, so more people could have heard that beautiful song. Of course one came years before the other. I am not being technical, but referring to the point. a lot of good music don't get a lot of exposure and some people feel it is as good or better then the ones that do get a lot of exposure.Opinion of course.

 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 4:42 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Peter

I enjoyed the show on Saturday night. Little did I realise when I booked it a while ago it would be the last night of the run!

The performances were good and well sung as you mentioned, and I was already familiar with the score so I was able to enjoy that. I do think it had some problems in having to explain too much of the back story, and there seemed to be too much plot towards the end. I honestly believe with a slight rewrite and some revisions it may well appear again soon. I've said before it's good ALW tried to do something new and different, but I'm not sure the public want him doing this kind of show. I think the preference is for larger scale, romantic type scores from him.

Also, I met Alex and Charlotte Spencer after the show and they signed my CD Booklet. Both were very nice.

(Oh and the melody for the cue '1963' that you posted above, was previously used in ALW's 'Whistle Down The Wind' from some years back).

 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 5:26 AM   
 By:   RobBob83   (Member)

I think "Stephen Ward" is a reasonable score, but the last piece by Lloyd Webber that I really enjoyed was "Whistle Down The Wind". However I've always had a sneaky suspcision Jim Steinman provided more than just the lyrics to that musical.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 7:33 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Oh yes, that was a nice one.[whistle down the wind]

 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

I think "Stephen Ward" is a reasonable score, but the last piece by Lloyd Webber that I really enjoyed was "Whistle Down The Wind". However I've always had a sneaky suspcision Jim Steinman provided more than just the lyrics to that musical.

The song in the second act, "A kiss is a terrible thing to waste" is certainly very Steinman like material (to the point he got Meatloaf to do a version of it), however the rest of the score seems ALW in style to me.

 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

DP

 
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