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Andrew Lloyd Webber musical 'Stephen Ward' closing in London

The latest musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber has posted a closing notice on London's West End just two months after opening.

"Stephen Ward," based on the 1960s British political scandal surrounding John Profumo, opened in December at the Aldwych Theatre in London to tepid reviews and will close on March 29.

The musical's closure marks a setback in Lloyd Webber's attempted comeback following the poor reception in London for "Love Never Dies," his long-awaited sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera."

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"Stephen Ward" featured the same writing team behind Lloyd Webber's 1993 musical "Sunset Boulevard." Christopher Hampton and Don Black wrote the book and lyrics to the new musical, which recounts the 1963 Profumo scandal involving a liaison between Profumo, Britain's secretary of State for War, and Christine Keeler, a young model.

Ward was an osteopath who was a friend of Keeler and who eventually killed himself. The role of Ward is played by British actor Alexander Hanson.

Producer Robert Fox was quoted in British reports Tuesday saying that he was saddened by the musical's box-office failure but that he hoped it would realize success in the future.

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Lloyd Webber's post-"Phantom" years have been notable for their lack of a bona-fide blockbuster hit. "Lover Never Dies" has yet to be produced in the U.S., though it has been released on DVD following a run in Australia.

"Sunset Boulevard" had long runs in Los Angeles and Broadway, but the musical was reported to have lost money in New York due to high costs. His musicals "The Woman in White" and "By Jeeves" failed to make much of an impact on Broadway.

A new touring version of "Phantom" is making its way around the U.S. and will come to the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood in 2015.


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