The Liverpool Playhouse will be the first port of call for a musical written by Sting, as The Last Ship begins its first UK tour in Liverpool (April 9-14).
Following a three-week run at Northern Stage in Newcastle, the production begins a UK tour with eight performances at the Playhouse, featuring an original score with music and lyrics by Sting, as well as a few of his best-loved songs – Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance.
The Last Ship stars Liverpool actor Joe McGann as foreman Jackie White in a story of a north-east ship building town on the brink.
When a sailor named Gideon Fletcher, played by former Coronation Street actor Richard Fleeshman, returns home after 17 years at sea, there are tensions in his family and his town.
The local shipyard is closing and no-one knows what will come next, only that a half-built ship towers over the terraces.
Director Lorne Campbell said: “We have brought together a remarkable cast and team of creatives from across the UK with a core of incredible performers from the north east, many of whom are only a generation away from the shipyard workers of the Tyne and the Wear.
“This personal connection to the project brings an enormous passion and resonance to the company.”
Sting was born Gordon Matthew Sumner in Wallsend, North Tyneside, and grew up in the turmoil of the ship-building industry.
In 1977, he formed the rock trio, The Police, and went solo in 1984. He has sold almost 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist.
The show is at Northern Stage in Newcastle until April 7. After Liverpool, the tour will move on to Birmingham, Northampton, Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, York and Salford.
Photo credits: (c) Pamela Raith