Sting gives play permission to preview album song at the Live Theatre...

June 07, 2013

Theatre-goers will be the first to hear an early preview of a new song by Sting.

The musician’s yet-to-be released album, The Last Ship, shares the name of a musical play he has devised, which is to open on Broadway next year.

And he has given permission for the title song to be included in another new play to be premiered in the North East this month.

Director Max Roberts asked Sting for permission to include his song All This Time in the play, Tyne.

Sting gave his blessing and also sent a demo recording of The Last Ship along with additional lyrics.

Newcastle writer Michael Chaplin has taken stories by some of the region’s greatest writers and woven them into a celebration of the River Tyne that will premiere at Live Theatre on Newcastle Quayside.

Musical director on the project is Kathryn Tickell, a friend of Sting, whose Northumbrian pipes will be heard on his new album, which is due for release in September.

Sting was at Live Theatre in February last year when an invited audience, including former shipyard workers, were given an early preview of his musical play.

The play was performed by a cast including Jimmy Nail and tells the story of a group of shipyard workers who decide to build their own ship when they learn the yard is to close.. Encouraged by the loud applause, Sting and the creative team returned to New York where The Lost Ship has continued to be shaped under Broadway producer Jeffrey Seller.

The album will help to build interest in the production ahead of opening night. But Tyne promises an early taster for people in the North East where Sting grew up.

Max Roberts, artistic director of Live Theatre, said: “I was delighted by Sting’s generosity and support for our project. I think it’s born out of a deep fondness and commitment to his home town, its river and the region’s cultural vitality.

“Having been lucky enough to listen to some of the new songs, I was taken by the passion and lyrical beauty of the music and words. I’m sure everyone here will love them. Sting is also a great admirer of Kathryn Tickell, who is our musical director for Tyne and one of the creative forces behind the Festival of the North East, which includes our production.

“Kathryn has played on a number of Sting’s albums and I understand she also features prominently on the new album. Audiences are in for a real musical and theatrical treat.”

The linking story of Tyne follows siblings Mark and Kate as they trace their father’s story and life along the river’s edge where they meet people with stories linked to the river.

Tyne also features writing from the late Tom Hadaway, Julia Darling, Alan Plater and Sid Chaplin and will run at Live Theatre from June 27 to July 20.

(c) The Journal by David Whetstone


Jun 6, 2013
Forget the 16 Grammy Awards and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame credentials. How many 61-year-old men can still rock skinny jeans? He's still got it. Sting’s vocals still sound crystalline, his musical chops are uncanny and his catalog is the unabridged manifesto for Rock Theory 101. He's the original hipster - and the flattery is well-earned. For his globe-trotting ''Back To Bass'' tour that hit Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Wednesday night, Sting stripped-down the production value and offered up a no frills, no gimmicks approach show. For the opener ''If I Ever Lose My Faith,'' Sting strolled out on stage with his bass in hand like he was doing a simple sound check. No operatic stage effects, no pyrotechnics, no fluff. It was a refreshing diversion from the overwrought stage designs that most large acts rely on for theatric spunk...
Jun 5, 2013

The inspiration for it really stemmed from my album The Soul Cages that I wrote in 1990, which depicted the landscape of my hometown, Wallsend, in the Northeast of England. My early memories are of the Swan Hunters shipyard at the end of the street, where some of the largest ships ever built were constructed; the imposing presence of ships, towering over the roofs of the terraced houses we lived in, represented a very potent symbolism for me. I watched thousands of men walk down our street every day on their way to work on these mighty ships. My great-great-grandfather was a master mariner, one of my grandfathers was a North Sea pilot, another was a shipwright, and my father served his time as an engineer. So my family over the generations has always been connected to the sea and ships...