Theatre News

Jimmy Nail withdraws from Sting's new musical The Last Ship

As principal casting is announced, Jimmy Nail withdraws from the production

Jimmy Nail, Joe McGann and Frances McNamee
Jimmy Nail, Joe McGann and Frances McNamee
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Jimmy Nail will no longer play the role of Jackie White in Sting's debut musical The Last Ship.

Nail was due to play the role in the show, which opens at Northern Stage in March.

Principal and replacement cast has been announced with Joe McGann now starring as Jackie White alongside Charlie Hardwick (Peggy White), Richard Fleeshman (Gideon Fletcher) and Frances McNamee (Meg Dawson).

Producer Karl Sydow said: "After protracted negotiations carried out in good faith we regret to announce the production’s offer of employment to Jimmy Nail has been withdrawn. All at The Last Ship thank him for his generosity and enormous contribution during what has been an eight year journey."

The show has a Tony nominated score and lyrics composed by Sting and will run in Newcastle ahead of embarking on a tour of UK and Ireland.

Lorne Campbell directs the piece, which focuses on a sailor named Gideon Fletcher who returns home after seventeen years at sea. He arrives in his home town as the local shipyard is closing and the community are struggling to keep together.

The Last Ship was originally inspired by Sting's 1991 album "The Soul Cages" and his own experiences.

After the run in Newcastle, the show tours to cities including Liverpool, Birmingham, Northampton, Leeds, Nottingham and Cardiff.

The Last Ship runs at Northern Stage from 12 March to 7 April and then tours until 7 July.