This sign greeted Builder Bloke and I as we went to see “Keeler” last night being performed on stage at Richmond Theatre:-
“OH YAY” he said “that means bottoms”……
Well. He was right. There were a few bottoms to look at and you even get full on nudity from Alice Coulthard who plays Christine Keeler, which was quite a surprise. No loud bangs though – unless they’re talking about a quick shag on the sofa with some noises attached.
Paul Nicholas from “Just Good Friends” not only plays the role of Stephen Ward but is producer and director of the play. This version of The Profumo Affair is taken from the book “The Truth At Last” by Christine Keeler herself. To be honest, I don’t think it tells you anything we don’t already know. She exposes the squalid underbelly of upper class public life and was used and abused by those who should have known better. In this version she portrays herself as a victim of circumstance – but to be honest, she was only 18 when she was moved in with the society osteopath who clearly took it upon himself to provide adult entertainment for all his clients, so I think that it is fair to say that she was too young to understand what was really going on.
It starts with Christine talking off stage “ask most men what they think of Christine Keeler and they’ll say “she’s that naked bird on a chair” – brought down the government – had an affair with the Minister of War and a Russian spy.” Well, yes but having seen the play, that is still pretty much how you are going to describe her.
If you like the story, the scandal, the sex, the glamour, the debauched politicians of the time (you’ll see not much has changed) then you’ll like this play.
My one criticism would be Stephen Ward’s wig. It’s not good enough (and it looks nothing like the one in the photographs).