Last Ship sets sail for Salford Quays in July

David Upton

The Last Ship, the musical by rock star Sting, sails in to Salford Quays venue The Lowry from July 3 to 7 with Richard Fleeshman (Gideon Fletcher), Charlie Hardwick (Peggy White), Joe McGann (Jackie White) and Frances McNamee (Meg Dawson) starring.

Richard is a familiar face on stage and screen having been acting since the age of 12 when he played Craig Harris in Coronation Street. Stage roles include Sam Wheat in Ghost the Musical, a part he originated in the Manchester première and played in the West End and Broadway, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (UK tour) and Bobby Strong in Urinetown (original West End production).

Charlie Hardwick played Val Pollard in the soap opera Emmerdale.

Joe McGann, perhaps best known for his lead role as Charlie Burrows in the comedy series The Upper Hand, has had a wide career spanning theatre, television and film.

Frances McNamee appeared alongside Kelsey Grammer in Big Fish (The Other Palace). Other stage credits include Les Misérables 20th Anniversary Gala Performance (West End).

Jimmy Nail, who was to take the role of Jackie White, is no longer performing.

Producer Karl Sydow explained, “after protracted negotiations carried out in good faith, we regret to announce the production’s offer of employment to Jimmy Nail has been withdrawn. All at The Last Ship thank him for his generosity and enormous contribution during what has been an eight-year journey.”

The Last Ship, which was initially inspired by Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences, tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard.