Posted: 10 Jan 2018 03:22 AM PST
The Last Ship to sail without Jimmy Nail
Principal casting has been announced for Sting’s musical, The Last Ship, which plays the Edinburgh Festival Theatre in June 2018. However, after “protracted negotiations”, Jimmy Nail will be replaced by Joe McGann.
Nail initially starred in the Broadway debut of the show in 2014. But with sales flagging disastrously, the former Police frontman was parachuted in to play the lead in his own show – at Nail’s expense – after little more than a month.
Nail was originally slated to star in the UK tour which will open at Northern Stage in Newcastle in March, and has been involved in the evolution of the musical.
He said: “I was very much looking forward to appearing in Sting's The Last Ship, particularly here in my home city. Sadly that's not to be”
Producer Karl Sydow said that: “After protracted negotiations carried out in good faith we regret to announce the production's offer of employment to Jimmy Nail has been withdrawn.”
The Last Ship was initially inspired by Sting's 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences. It tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard.
The Upper Hand
Joe McGann is perhaps best known for his role as Charlie Burrows the former footballer turned housekeeper in the ITV comedy series The Upper Hand. Musical theatre credits include Elf, and UK tours of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Calendar Girls, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls.
McGann will be playing foreman Jackie Whit, while Charlie Hardwick, who played Val Pollard in Emmerdale, will play his wife Peggy. The couple fight to hold their community together in the face of the gathering storm, following the closure of the local shipyard.
Richard Fleeshman – Coronation Street’s Craig Harris – will play Gideon Fletcher, the sailor who returns home after seventeen years at sea to find tensions between past and future flaring in both his family and his town. Fleeshman has plenty of musical background, including originated the role of Sam Wheat in Ghost the Musical.
Frances McNamee will play barmaid Meg Dawson, Gideon’s former sweetheart. Currently appearing alongside Kelsey Grammer in Big Fish, McNamee has built a strong reputation for modern, period and musical theatre.
The show is directed by Northern Stage’s Lorne Campbell. It will run there from Monday 12 March to Saturday 7 April. It is then booked to tour until July 2018. Set design is by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions.
In a statement issued by production company, Jimmy Nail adds: "I would like to thank the production in allowing FACT, the charity of which I'm a patron, to benefit from the planned gala charity event.
“To anyone who has purchased a ticket, please, go see the show and give this vessel the launch it so deserves. You'll hear some of the finest musical works ever composed for the stage."
Announcing the withdrawal of Nail from the show, Karl Sydow, producer of The Last Ship, added: “All at The Last Ship thank him for his generosity and enormous contribution during what has been an eight year journey.”
The Last Ship
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 02:52 AM PST
Annual opportunity to join youth company
The Lothian Youth Arts & Musicals Company, LYAMC, has moved its annual auditions this Sunday 14 January 2018 to St Andrew’s Church, Clermiston.
The main objective of LYAMC is to “make musical theatre fun for 120 youngsters aged 8 to 25”. Following the auditions, it will stage a concert style production in April and a full scale musical in September.
This year's auditions will take place on at St Andrew's Church, Clermiston. There is no need to pre-book, but auditionees should turn up in good time for registration, which opens at 1pm. Auditions will start at 1.30pm, running through to between 3.30 and 5pm.
Decisions will be made following all auditions and everyone will be notified by email if they have successfully gained a place in LYAMC.
Details and listing
LYAMC warn that there is no space for parents to wait at the auditions, but that they will contact parents when their children are finished.
Auditionees should take water and be dressed in comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for the dance workshop.
LYAMC Auditions 2017
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