I would agree entirely. The whole motivation of Stephen's character is that he wants to play 'with the big boys' and enjoy the fine life - a life he wasn't born into but is totally seduced by. One of the ways he does this is by making himself believe he has more political power than he really does (thus the self-belief that he and the Russian chap helped hold off the missile crisis). Another is by finding ways to mix with aristocrats, polticians, royalty, film stars and the like - and one of the ways he achieves this is by charming beautiful women and then introducing them to people. Now this seems pretty seedy (and it is) but he obviously believes he is doing the girls a favour, too - lifting them out of their hum-drum backgrounds and opening a door for them into a 'better' world.
I agree that maybe this is all very subtle and perhaps need signposting more clearly but one of the things I liked about this show is that it was subtle and complex. The characters had conflicting and complex motivations, just like people in real life do. You find them sympathetic and unsympathetic simultaneously. I can't think of many ALW shows where is the case - maybe Aspects and Evita, possibly Superstar. In most of his shows the characters tend to be a bit like cardboard cut outs (and I'm saying this as a fan!) and so it was so pleasing to find him doing a show with a bit more depth.
Having said all that, my enthusiasm has been tempered a bit since my initial gushing post. The parts from the cast recording that have been issued so far really fall flat. The excerpt from You're Very Clever To Have Found this sounds rather dreary (I didn't really notice this in the theatre, although it was never a standout song) and 1963, which seemed really vibrant and fitting in the context of the show, seems really flat on the recording. I know if I'd heard that before seeing the show I'd have been thinking it seemed pretty rubbish! The synth-brass in particular stands out terribly and the tempo seems much slower than I remembered it. The Hula Hooping song and the cod-reggae song were two of the worst songs in it anyway. So, I don't know. I still think it was a good show but it's maybe not an easy one to love!
I completely agree. The thing with Christine and Mandy is that as young women, they embodied the spirit of the 60s and weren't interested in climbing the social ladder, but happy to sit back and enjoy the ride (so to speak). Had they put their minds to it they could have used the situations to their own advantage but they didn't - clearly shown by Christine in the scene where she refuses a flat from Profumo.