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Sting Brings Songs From His New Broadway Musical ‘The Last Ship’ Aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

October 31, 2014 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Sting and Captain Kevin Oprey on the bow of Queen Mary 2, NYC.  Photo credit James Morgan_DSC_0217Sixteen-time Grammy award-winning musician Sting performed songs from his latest album, “The Last Ship” and new Broadway musical of the same name in New York on board Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2 yesterday.

The one-off performance took place in front of an invited audience in the ship’s Royal Court Theatre just two days after the musician made his official debut as a Broadway composer.

Set in his hometown of Wallsend on Tyneside in the North East of England, ‘The Last Ship’ draws on Sting’s memories of growing up next to the Swan Hunter shipyard.  Over the years, 15 of Cunard’s ships were built at the yard, including the four-funnelled Mauretania, once the biggest ship in the world.

Sting said:

“Cunard is one of the most famous names in shipping and a lot of very notable ships were built on Tyneside – Mauretaniaand Carpathia, to name but two.  There’s a great lineage.

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I was born and raised in Wallsend in the shadow of the Swan Hunter shipyard.  My earliest memories are of ships being built and launched into the river.  You couldn’t escape Swan Hunter – there was a coal mine at one end of town and Swan Hunter at the other, so these ships loomed over our houses.

With ‘The Last Ship’, I thought I would try and honour the community that I came from.  Because everyone around me worked in the Swan Hunter shipyard.  My grandfather worked in the shipyard.  All his brothers worked in the shipyard.  My family has had things to do with the sea for many years.”

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Sting will also perform songs from “The Last Ship” in the UK next year on 24 and 25 April 2015 to benefit the Sage Theatre Gateshead 10th Birthday Appeal.  The two performances, sponsored by Cunard, swiftly sold out when tickets went on sale this summer.

Sting said:

“Cunard are backing the concert that we are doing with the Sage in Gateshead.  It’s a benefit for the Sage.  It’s only right and fitting to take this story back in some form to the people who inspired it, so I’m really happy to do that.”

Sting will be joined on stage next April by many of the region’s best loved musicians including fiddle and Northumbrian pipe player Kathryn Tickell and The Wilson Family from Billingham, Co. Durham. Money raised from both performances will ensure that the Sage’s vital work supporting arts and culture in the region will continue.

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Cunard’s Marketing Director Angus Struthers said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have welcomed Sting on board Queen Mary 2 today, where the audience enjoyed  songs from his brand new Broadway musical ‘The Last Ship’ as well as tracks such as ‘An Englishman in New York’ and ‘Message in a Bottle’.

“As we prepare to mark Cunard’s 175th anniversary in 2015, our support of Sting’s benefit concerts at the Sage next April is a fitting way to commemorate the place where so many of Cunard’s finest ships were built, including one of our most celebrated – the magnificent Mauretania. ‘The Last Ship’ captures the heart of the Tyneside ship building

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