Brian Yorkey-Sting Musical The Last Ship to Test Its Sails in October
By Adam Hetrick
Additional details have emerged for the new musical project by Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal librettist Brian Yorkey and Grammy Award-winning songwriter Sting.
The New York Times reports that the musical, titled The Last Ship, is currently casting for a series of October readings in Manhattan. Previous reports stated that the project would be a stage musical adaptation of Sting's 1991 album "The Soul Cages" and would incorporate biographical aspects from his life.
Latest reports reveal that Yorkey is authoring the book and intends to direct the first readings of the musical, which will have music and lyrics by Sting. It retains the setting of Newcastle, England, the singer-songwriter's boyhood home.
Yorkey told the Times, "It’s Sting’s first foray into writing for musical theatre, so we wanted to start having him meet actors and hear them sing at the earliest possible point."
Sting has already composed over 20 new songs for the 1980's-set musical. A source close to the production told Playbill.com that the musical will include a handful of pre-existing Sting songs framed within a new context.
"He's writing great theater music," Yorkey added. "It's very, very distinctly Sting but it also is theatre music. It's not just pop music transposed into the theatre."
Despite having a large amount of musical material in place, Yorkey said the score was not yet complete and that the creators are just beginning to test material.
It was previously reported that Yorkey had traveled with Sting to Newcastle, England, and met family members and visited locations referenced in the rocker's work, to create a somewhat biographical stage musical.
The breakdown for the main character follows: "Charismatic, charming, cynical, worldly-wise; quick to buy a round or throw a fist, slow to open his heart. Grew up around the shipyards of Newcastle, got out as soon as he could, coming home to come to terms with his family, his history, and his future."
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