Title song from Sting’s new album in premiere of play about the River Tyne at Live Theatre, Newcastle

Tyne Wednesday, June 5, 2013


The title song from Sting’s new album The Last Ship that has just been announced for release in September, will be previewed in Tyne by Michael Chaplin, a brand new play which opens at Live Theatre on 27 June and runs until 20 July.

The play’s director Max Roberts initially asked Sting for permission to include his song All This Time in Tyne, explaining the themes and content of the play. Sting immediately replied not only giving his blessing to use the existing song but also forwarded a demo recording of a new song The Last Ship along with some additional lyrics that he felt might be compatible to the themes of Tyne. Both songs will be included in the play, which is a world premiere, mapping the history, atmosphere and soul of the mighty river in story, music and images.

Sting had worked at Live Theatre during February last year when a workshop performance of his new musical The Last Ship was staged at the quayside venue. The story of the musical was inspired by Sting's childhood memories growing up near the shipyards in Wallsend.  He subsequently became a supporter and joined the Friends of Live Theatre. Sting’s musical is to be premiered on New York's Broadway next year.

Artistic Director, Max Roberts said:

“I was obviously delighted by Sting's generosity and support for our project. I think it's born out of a deep fondness and commitment to his home town, its river and the region’s cultural vitality. Having been lucky enough to listen some of the new songs that will feature in the new musical and on the new album, I was taken by the passion and lyrical beauty of the music and words. And I'm sure everyone here will love them too. Sting is also a great admirer of Kathryn Tickell who is our musical director for Tyne and one of the creative forces behind The Festival of the North East which includes our production. Kathryn has played on a number of Sting's albums and I understand she also features prominently on the new album. I can safely say audiences are in for a real musical and theatrical treat”

Other traditional folk songs connected to the river have been adapted and arranged for the play by Kathryn and are sung and performed with live musical accompaniment by the cast. The story follows siblings Mark and Kate who trace their father’s story and life along the river’s edge and their encounters with people and tales linked to the river. The play is part of the Festival of the North East and is supported by the Port of Tyne.

Tyne features actors Zoe Lambert and Jane Holman who both starred in Live Theatre’s recent play Live Witness, Hebburn actress Victoria Elliot and Phil Corbitt who have all made regular appearances at Live Theatre. Appearing at Live Theatre for the first time are South Shields born Holby City actor George Irving, Paul Dodds who has appeared extensively including at The National Theatre and Newcastle born Assad Zaman making his theatrical debut.

As Port of Tyne’s writer-in-residence, Michael Chaplin walked the tidal length of the Tyne with artist Birtley Aris, photographer Charles Bell and poet Christy Ducker in July 2011. Tyne draws many of its stories from the people they met on their journey and recorded in his book Tyne View. Tyne is at Live Theatre from Thursday 27 June to Saturday 20 July.

A discussion will take place between writer Michael Chaplin, director Max Roberts and musical director Kathryn Tickell on Saturday 29 June followed by a book signing by Michael Chaplin.

There will also be a historic building tour of Live Theatre at 11am on Saturday 29 June.

RiverRuns, an evening of words and poetry from local poets and musicians, celebrates the river Tyne on Sunday 7 July at 7.30pm

For more information on Tyne and to buy tickets costing between £22 to £10 and concessions between £15 and £5 ring Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232 or see www.live.org.uk.

In partnership with Port of Tyne
Part of the Festival of the North East

Image courtesy of Side Gallery