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Weathering a storm on The Last Ship

The cast of The Last Ship
The cast of The Last Ship

The story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry is behind a critically-acclaimed show. The Last Ship was inspired by Sting’s 1991 album, The Soul Cages, and his childhood experience.

It highlights the effects the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard had on Tyne and Wear.

The show features original music by Sting, a former member of the Police — which sold amost 100m albums — as well as some of the multiple Grammy Award-winner’s hits, such as Island Of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance.

It is at the Nottingham Playhouse from Tuesday, May 8 until Saturday, May 12.

The story follows sailor Gideon Fletcher, who returns home after 17 years at sea, and the tensions between the past and the future that flare up in both his family and his town.

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

Foreman Jackie White and his wife, Peggy, fight to hold their community together in the face of the gathering storm.

The musical, which features a Tony-nominated original score, won praise following its four-week launch in Newcastle.

The cast includes Richard Fleeshman, Charlie Hardwick, Joe McGann and Frances McNamee.

The show is directed by Lorne Campbell, the artistic director of Northern Stage, and has a set design by the Tony and Olivier Award-winning 59 Productions, the team behind the video design for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

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