The Last Ship on Tyneside

Peter Lathan

Sting’s musical, The Last Ship, which premièred at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago in 2014 before moving to Broadway, is to have its UK première at Northern Stage in March.

Opening on 12 March, the production, which will star Jimmy Nail (who played in the Chicago production), will run for a 4-week season in Newcastle prior to a major UK and Ireland Tour. It will be directed by Northern Stage’s Artistic Director Lorne Campbell.

Inspired by Sting's 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences, The Last Ship tells the story of the Wallsend community as the shipbuilding industry in the town dies with the closure of the shipyard.

After seventeen years at sea, Gideon Fletcher returns to find the his hometown community in disarray with tensions flaring both in the town and his own family. All anyone knows is that a half-built ship towers over the riverside terraces.

Further casting will be announced soon.

Produced by Northern Stage in association with Karl Sydow and Kathryn Schenker, the musical has a book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey and music and lyrics by Sting. In 2015 the Broadway production at the Neil Simon Theatre was nominated for four Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics’ Circle Awards and two Tony Awards.

After the Northern Stage premiere, The Last Ship will tour to Liverpool Playhouse (9 – 14 April); New Alexandra, Birmingham (16 – 21 April); Royal and Derngate, Northampton (23 – 28 April); Leeds Grand (30 April – 5 May); Nottingham Playhouse (7 – 12 May); Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (14 – 19 May); Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin (28 may – 2 June); Edinburgh Festival Theatre (11 – 16 June); Theatre Royal, Glasgow (18 – 23 June); York Theatre Royal (25 – 30 June) and The Lowry, Salford (2 – 7 July).