Sting’s first musical, “The Last Ship,” had a try out reading in Newcastle, England over the weekend, and the former frontman of The Police hopes to bring the play to Broadway and then later to West End, according to the Journal Live.
According to the report, Sting attended “scripts in hand” readings of the musical at Newcastle’s Live Theatre on Friday February 3 and Saturday February 4. The readings, which included a musical ensemble performing the music of the show that included some of Sting’s hits as well as new material, was meant to gauge the reaction of the audience to the play. The play is reported to be in an “embryonic” stage. Members of the audience included influential members of the Broadway theater community.
Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, spoke to the Journal Live about the experience.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking and a huge risk to come to Newcastle and present something very unfinished and raw, and hope people will understand the process and feel they can invest in it emotionally,” he told the paper.
The story, which was devised by Sting, is centered on a group of ship-builders who are inspired by a local priest to build their own ship and sail it around the world. Sting also spoke of his inspiration for the story.
“I was trying to honor that period of history here and these men,” he said. “Although the conditions they worked in were appalling, with an inhospitable, toxic environment of asbestos, red lead and welding fumes, they were ferociously proud of the ships they built.”
The reading was directed by Rob Mathes, and featured local Newcastle actors Jimmy Nail and his sister, Val McLane. A similar reading was held previously in New York, and Sting said another will be held there in April.
Though the singer said the premiere of the play would likely be held in New York, he also said there was still a long way to go before the musical is finished.