The Last Ship, starring Sting, set for Los Angeles in early 2020...
March 01, 2019 

Center Theatre Group's 53rd Season at the Ahmanson Theatre features powerful performers in deeply personal works.

Sting in “The Last Ship”
New book by Lorne Campbell
Original book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey
Music and lyrics by Sting
Directed by Lorne Campbell
January 14 – February 16, 2020

Sting stars in the acclaimed UK production of his deeply personal musical “The Last Ship” which begins previews January 14, opens January 22 and continues through February 16, 2020.

“The Last Ship” was initially inspired by Sting’s 1991 album “The Soul Cages” and his own childhood experiences growing up in the shadow of the legendary Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend, England. This personal, political and passionate musical from the 17-time Grammy Award winner is an epic account of a family, a community and a great act of defiance.

“The Last Ship” features music and lyrics by Sting including some of his bestloved songs such as “Island of Souls,” “All This Time” and “When We Dance.” It is the proud story of when the last ship sails. Sting’s Tony-nominated score is paired with a new book and direction by Lorne Campbell (original book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey).

Orchestrations for this production of “The Last Ship” are by Rob Mathes with musical direction by Richard John, costume design by Molly Einchcomb, movement direction by Lucy Hind, lighting design by Matt Daw, sound design by Seb Frost and the dramaturg is Selma Dimitrijevic.

When Gideon Fletcher returns home after 17 years at sea, tensions between past and future flare. The local shipyard, which has anchored the community for generations, is in turmoil. Picket lines are drawn as foreman Jackie White (played by Sting) and his wife fight to hold their community together in the face of the gathering storm.

When it opened at Northern Stage, Michael Billington of the Guardian noted “It was received, quite rightly, with full-throated acclaim by its Newcastle audience.” When “The Last Ship” opened in Toronto, J. Kelly Nestruck of The Globe and Mail said “The Last Ship” was “animated by Sting’s clear personal passion for the project and a strong sense of storytelling.”

Sting was born Gordon Matthew Sumner in Wallsend, North East England, the eldest of four children. He grew up in the turmoil of the ship-building industry and wanted to become a musician very early having developed a love for the bass guitar. He played in jazz/rock bands such as "The Last Exit" and other various outfits, including a Dixieland jazz group, and in 1977, he formed the rock trio The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. In 1984, he went on to record solo albums, and has evolved into one of the most prolific songwriters and musicians in the world. Sting has sold close to 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist. He has also delved into acting, having appeared in over 15 films such as “Quadrophenia” (1979) and “Bring on the Night” (1984) and has published a memoir entitled “Broken Music” in 2003, which spent 13 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list. He has received honorary Doctorate of Music degrees from Northumbria University in October 1992, Berklee College of Music in May 1994, University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2006 and Brown University in 2018. 

Lorne Campbell is Northern Stage’s Artistic Director. Before moving to Newcastle upon Tyne he was co-artistic director at theatre company Greyscale and a freelance director and theatre-maker. He was also the course leader of the BA Directing programme at Drama Centre, Central St Martins. He is a graduate of the Channel 4 Young Theatre Director’s Scheme and a former associate director at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Lorne has also worked extensively in mainland Europe and Britain and since 2008, he has been a freelance director with works at The Gate, London, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Birmingham Rep and Oran Mor. For Northern Stage, Lorne directed “The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project” at the company’s Edinburgh venue (winner of the 2013 Spirit of the Fringe Award).

Fourth Season Production
January 14 – February 16, 2020 “The Last Ship”
(Opens January 22.) New book by Lorne Campbell
Original book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey
Music and lyrics by Sting
Directed by Lorne Campbell

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