Sting’s arresting new show to sail into Edinburgh

Sting and Jimmy Nail and director Lorne Campbell
Sting and Jimmy Nail and director Lorne Campbell
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HE is best known for No 1 hits like Message in a Bottle, Walking On The Moon and Don’t Stand So Close To Me with The Police in the late 70s, but next year, Capital audiences will get the chance to discover another side to Sting.

The singer/songwriter is set to bring his new musical, The Last Ship, to the Festival Theatre on Nicolson Street, in June.

The production, set to star Jimmy Nail, best known for his role as Oz in the ITV drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, was initially inspired by Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences.

It tells the story of a community as it comes to terms with the demise of the shipbuilding industry and the closure of the local Swan Hunter shipyard.

When Gideon Fletcher returns home after 17 years at sea, tensions between past and future flare in both his family and his town.

The local shipyard, around which Wallsend has always revolved, is closing and no-one knows what will come next, only that a half-built ship towers over the terraces.

“I’m thrilled to be bringing The Last Ship to the great city of Edinburgh, with its maritime history, and shipbuilding tradition,” says Sting, whose original score and lyrics have already been Tony Award nominated.

He adds, “I feel the underlying themes, the importance of work and community, of regional pride and dignity will resonate strongly.”

Directed by Edinburgh-born Lorne Campbell, a former associate director at The Traverse, The Last Ship is a personal, political and passionate new musical and an epic account of a family, a community and of a great act of defiance, featuring some of Sting’s best-loved songs including Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance.

The Last Ship plays the Festival Theatre from 12-16 June 2018. Tickets priced £22-£37 are on sale now.