Last Ship sails to Festival Theatre

Oct 30 2017 | By More

Jimmy Nail to star in UK premiere tour

The Last Ship, the musical by Sting inspired by his 1991 album The Soul Cages, is to play Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre in its UK premiere tour starring Jimmy Nail.

The musical is to be produced by Newcastle’s Northern Stage where it will open in March 2018 for four weeks before going on a UK-wide tour until July. It will play Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre Tuesday 12 to Saturday 16 June 2018.

Jimmy Nail, Sting and Lorne Campbell. Pic: Mark Savage

The Last Ship is based on Sting’s own childhood experiences. It tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the town’s Swan Hunter shipyard.

Personal, political and passionate, it is an epic account of a family, a community and a great act of defiance. Sting wrote the music lyrics for the show, which features some of his best-loved songs including Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance.

Gideon Fletcher, a sailor, returns home from sea to discover the ship-building life he left behind in chaos. The local shipyard, around which Wallsend has always revolved, is closing and no-one knows what will come next – only that a half-built ship towers over the terraces.

With the engine fired and pistons in motion, picket lines are drawn as foreman Jackie (Jimmy Nail) and his wife Peggy fight to hold their community together in the face of the gathering storm.

The production will be directed by Edinburgh-born Lorne Campbell, the artistic director of Northern Stage. He is a former associate director at the Traverse where his direction work included Distracted by Morna Pearson and Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Alan Wilkins, winner of the CATS Best New Play award in 2007.

The set design will by 59 Productions, the EIF associated artists company which is behind the EIF’s big opening spectacles – Bloom, Deep Time and the Harmonium Project.

The Last Ship was first staged on Broadway in 2014 where it ran for 105 performances and garnered Tony Award nominations for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations. Full casting of the UK tour is to be announced at a later date.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre dates are on sale now to members of it Friends initiative. General sale opens on  Friday 3 November 2017 from 10am.


The Last Ship
Festival Theatre, 13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT.
Tuesday 12– Saturday 16 June 2018
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinees: 2.30pm.
Tickets and Details:

Details of the Festival Theatre Friends initiative are here:

The Soul Cages and The Last Ship are available from Amazon. Click images for details:


The Last Ship on tour 2018:
Mon 12 March – Sat 7 April Newcastle
Northern Stage
0191 230 5151 Book online
Mon 9 – Sat 14 April Liverpool
0151 709 4776 Book online
Mon 16 – Sat 21 April Birmingham
The New Alexandra
0844 871 7647 Book online
Mon 23 – Sat 28 April Northampton
Royal & Derngate
01604 624 811 Book online
Tue 1 – Sat 5 May Leeds
Grand Theatre
0844 848 2700 Book online
Tue 8 – Sat 12 May Nottingham
0115 941 9419 Book online
Mon 14 – Sat 19 May Cardiff
Wales Millenium Centre
029 2063 6464 Book online
Mon 4 – Sat 9 June Dublin
Bord Gais Energy Theatre
+353 1 677 7999 Book online
Tue 12 – Sat 16 June Edinburgh
Festival Theatre
0131 529 6000 Book online
Mon 18 – Sat 23 June Glasgow
Theatre Royal
0844 871 7647 Book online
Mon 25 – Sat 30 June York
Theatre Royal
01904 623 568 Book online
Tue 3 – Sat 7 July Salford
The Lowry
0843 208 6000 Book online


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  1. Nail pulled from Last Ship : All Edinburgh | Jan 10 2018
  1. Can’t wait for this tour.
    Have had the theatre recital in my TV record library since April 2014 , which is played regularly, as is my CD in the car.
    Hope to get tickets for both Newcastle and Edinburgh.

  2. Alan says:

    Just bough Edinburgh, can’t wait