The show is inspired by Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his childhood experiences of growing up in the shadows of the shipbuilding industry in Newcastle.
The singer flew in to perform an acoustic set of songs from the show and chat candidly about his, at times, tough upbringing on the banks of the Wear.
“I wondered if that (the shipyard) would be my destiny, my fate. It was the last thing I wanted. The shipyards were a terrifying, dark, dangerous place,” he told an audience gathered in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.
“I had other dreams. I was a dreamer. I dreamt that I would be a singer of songs and a writer of songs.”
Before it comes to Dublin, the show will have a four-week run in Newcastle, in the same theatre that Sting – aka Gordon Sumner – began his music career. He got his start as a guitarist in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
“I really loved that experience,” he said. “Now I’m the gaffer! Which is a very interesting turn around.”
The Last Ship tells the story of Gideon Fletcher who returns home after seventeen years at sea to find that tensions are high amid the demise of the Swan Hunter shipyard. Another well-known Geordie performer, Jimmy Nail, will play the role of foreman Jacky who fights to keep the community together.
The show is directed by Lorne Campbell of Northern Stage with Karl Sydow and Kathryn Schenker producing. Set design is by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions.
The Last Ship will play the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from June 4th until June 9th, 2018. Tickets are on sale and available here.