The scandalous tale of a society osteopath, political intrigue in the ’60s, and now a new musical by Andrew Lloyd-Webber
KEELER BY WARD CHRISTINE KEELERWARD
I had been in practice as an osteopath for just 3 years when the Profumo scandal broke in 1963.
The convoluted relationships between girls of easy virtue (Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice Davies), a Cabinet minister (Jack Profumo), a Russian diplomat – and probable a spy (Eugene Ivanov) – and society osteopath Stephen Ward, were both shocking and fascinating.
This was even more so since osteopathy was so little mentioned in the press at that time – and here was this suave and mysterious member of my profession, who was also a gifted artist – who reputedly treated half the government, many stars of stage and screen, Winston Churchill – and even Prince Phillip, husband of the Queen.
Ward was falsely accused of pimping (having introduced Keeler to both the Russian spy and the Cabinet Minister)…and was charged with living off immoral earnings.
Over time it has become clear that the charges against him were untrue, and largely produced in response to government pressure, since the scandal had brought down the government of Prime Minister Macmillan – allowing (by a minute margin) the election of Harold Wilson’s disastrous socialist government, and a decade of economic chaos, out of which emerged Margaret Thatcher and her 11 years in power.
Whatever your political perspective – the Profumo affair can be seen to have been pivotal since it is generally agreed that without it Wilson would probably not have won the election that replaced Macmillan’s disgraced government.
And now Andrew Lloyd Webber (Cats, “Phantom”, Evita etc etc) has written a new musical (Stephen Ward) that revisits this amazing episode……
I have been a practicing osteopath for 53 years….and the idea that Ward’s sad story (he committed suicide at the end of his rigged trial, before sentencing) will now be told objectively.. to music…
I can’t wait…!!!!!