BWW Interviews: Charlotte Spencer Of STEPHEN WARD!

BWW Interviews: Charlotte Spencer Of STEPHEN WARD!

It must be an odd feeling, seeing yourself on posters all over London.

It must be even odder when that poster pictures you in a state of undress, imitating one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century.

Charlotte Spencer is playing Christine Keeler in Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest project Stephen Ward, and she's loving every minute of it.

"It's amazing. It's a bit scary at the same time - there's a lot riding on it. Andrew and Richard Eyre gave me the opportunity to play an iconic role - I'm very thankful to them.

"Actually, I thought they'd made a mistake when they offered it to me! I thought they must have got it wrong! I couldn't believe this was being given to me. I've learnt so much already."

There was a great deal of fanfare around the opening of Stephen Ward what with its stellar creative team, exaberbated by continuing media discussion around the Profumo Affair and reports and evidence that still haven't been publicly released.

"As much as it's a musical, we try to portray what we think really happened, and Stephen's side of the story, which hasn't been told, really," says Spencer.

"We're still tweaking - the great thing about creating something new is seeing how it develops because it's never been done before. There's such a lovely cast and creative team - everyone's gelled straight away."

Preparing to play a real person - one who's still around and was involved in a play in the West End not too long ago - has its own challenges.

"I researched before the rehearsals so I could get an idea - not just on her but the whole scandal and everyone who went with it. People will come to the theatre with an idea about Christine. It's interesting to say, 'OK, this is how I see her.' I've never met her, but I hope it's an honest portrayal - I believe in what I'm doing, that's all I can hope for.

"I read her book and tried to understand how her mind worked. I think she did love Stephen Ward because she had such an odd childhood and wanted a father figure, in a way, so they had this strange relationship. She was very misunderstood, I think."

Charlotte Spencer plays Christine Keeler in Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre.

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Carrie Dunn Carrie is the UK editor-in-chief for BroadwayWorld. After spending her formative years reading books and ending up with a Masters degree in English literature from King's College London, it was inevitable that Carrie should be a journalist. Her pure and simple delight in the art-form of musical theatre led to the Guardian asking her to be their West End Girl. Since then, she's picked up a PhD, and also written for many other UK publications, including the Times and the Independent. She has many eclectic loves, including sport, karaoke, reality television, MMORPGs, three-volume Victorian novels, the British seaside, embroidery and Veronica Mars.


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