The Last Ship is an upcoming original musical with music and lyrics by Sting and a book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey. Inspired by Sting’s own childhood experiences and the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend
In September 2011, it was confirmed that British musician Sting was working on a musical, following rumours the previous year. A first reading took place in Manhattan in October that year, with a further reading in Newcastle in February 2012 and ultimately a full staged reading for the musical was held in 2013. In September 2013, the show was officially confirmed and it was announced that the show would premiere in Chicago in 2014. The Last Ship, was initially inspired by Sting’s album The Soul Cages and Sting’s own childhood experiences, it tells the story about community and the demise of the Ship building industry in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear. The show has a book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey and is directed by Joe Mantello, with choreography by Steven Hoggett, set and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind and sound design by Brian Ronan.
The show features an original score by Sting. Speaking in 2011, Brian Yorkey whilst discussing Sting writing the music for the show said: “He’s writing great theater music,”, “It’s very, very distinctly Sting but it also is theatre music. It’s not just pop music transposed into the theatre.” Sting’s eleventh studio album, titled The Last Ship featuring music from, or originally intended for the musical, was released on 24 September 2013. The album marked his first release of original material since his 2003 album Sacred Love and his first foray into musical theatre. Sting had suffered from writers block and credited the show with giving him a reason to write songs again. Sting held a series of concerts at The Public Theater in October 2013, featuring music from the show and tells stories of the making of the musical. The concert was later broadcast on PBS as part of their Great Performances’s series.