The Last Ship – York Theatre Royal


Northern Stage in association with Karl Sydow & Kathryn Schenker

Music and Lyrics by STING

The Last Ship

Directed by Lorne Campbell

Cast includes Richard Fleeshman, Charlie Hardwick, Joe McGann and Frances McNamee

Designed by Fifty Nine Productions

New Book by Lorne Campbell

Original book by John Logan & Brian Yorkey

York Theatre Royal, 25 – 30 June


The Last Ship, the acclaimed musical by the internationally renowned musician Sting, comes to York Theatre Royal from 25 to 30 June as part of its UK premiere tour. The production has a Tony-nominated original score and lyrics composed by Sting.

The personal, political and passionate new musical, which was initially inspired by multiple Grammy Award winner Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences, 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.

The show is directed by Lorne Campbell, artistic director of Northern Stage, with set design by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions, the team behind the video design for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Leading the cast are Joe McGann (Jackie White), Charlie Hardwick (Peggy White), Richard Fleeshman (Gideon Fletcher) and Frances McNamee (Meg Dawson).

Completing the cast are Michael Blair (Yard Worker), Joe Caffrey (Billy Thompson), Matt Corner (Young Gideon & Yard Worker), Marvin Ford (Ferryman & Yard Worker), Orla Gormley (Cathleen & Yard Worker), Annie Grace (Mrs Dees), Sean Kearns (Freddy Newland & Old Joe), Katie Moore (Ellen Dawson), Charlie Richmond (Adrian Sanderson), Parisa Shahmir (Young Meg), Kevin Wathen (Davey Harrison) and Penelope Woodman (Baroness Tynedale).


The Last Ship has orchestrations by Rob Mathes, musical direction by Richard John, costume design by Molly Einchcomb, movement direction by Lucy Hind, lighting design by Matt Daw and sound design by Seb Frost.

Lorne Campbell said: “We have brought together a remarkable cast and team of creatives from across the UK with a core of incredible performers from the North East, many of whom are only a generation away from the shipyard workers of the Tyne and the Wear. This personal connection to the project brings an enormous passion and resonance to the company.”

When Gideon Fletcher returns home after 17 years at sea, tensions between past and future flare in both his family and his town. The local shipyard, around which the community 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 White and his wife Peggy fight to hold their community together in the face of the gathering storm.

Joe McGann, perhaps best known for his lead role as Charlie Burrows in the TV comedy series The Upper Hand, has had a wide career spanning theatre, television and film. Theatre credits include Elf, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Calendar Girls, Olivier! , Fiddler on the Roof & Guys and Dolls.

Charlie Hardwick played Val Pollard in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale from 2004 to 2015 and again in 2017, winning the 2006 British Soap Award for Best Comedy Performance. Stage credits include Hyem and Double Lives.

Richard Fleeshman is a familiar face on stage and TV, having been acting since the age of 12 when he played the role of Craig Harris in Coronation Street for four years. A talented singer-songwriter, his stage roles include Sam Wheat in Ghost the Musical, a part he originated and played in the West End and on Broadway, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (UK Tour) and Bobby Strong in Urinetown (original West End production).

Frances McNamee appeared alongside Kelsey Grammer in Big Fish. Other stage credits include The Mother, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Love’s Labour’s Won, Punishment Without Revenge , Pride and Prejudice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Borrowers, Epsom Downs, The Phoenix of Madrid, The Surprise of Love and Les Misérables 20th Anniversary Gala Performance. Her film credits include Love in Fifteen Minutes.

The Last Ship is produced by Northern Stage in association with Karl Sydow and Kathryn Schenker.




The Last Ship

York Theatre Royal

Mon 25 to Sat 30 June

Evenings 7.30pm

Mats Thurs 2pm and Sat 2.30pm

Tickets from £15.

Box office 01904 623568