Sting performs songs from latest album and Broadway musical The Last Ship

Sting and Anthony Sargent, general director of Sage. Credit: Andrew Heptinstall

Sting delighted audiences in his native Tyneside with songs from his latest album and Broadway musical The Last Ship.

Performed on 24 and 25 April to benefit the Sage Gateshead 10th Birthday Appeal, these were the only UK concerts of their kind and were supported by Cunard in the shipping company’s 175th anniversary year.

Cunard has historic links to the shipyards of the Tyne and a proud heritage with the North East – 23 Cunard ships were built on Tyneside, 15 of them at Swan Hunter, including the four-funnelled Mauretania and Carpathia, which rescued all the survivors from Titanic.

Sting said: “The Last Ship stories are based on the community I was brought up in, the shipbuilding community of Wallsend, and so to bring it back here like this is a wonderful honour and very emotional. I’m thrilled to be here.

“I was born and raised as close to the river as you can possibly get. I lived in Gerald Street, which is one of the streets that lead down to the shipyard, and I could walk out of my house and see giant ships at the end of my street, which was a massive symbol for me.

“Like everyone in the town we were immensely proud of the ships that were built there, some of the largest, most important ships ever built, right there at the end of my street – some of them by Cunard. And that was something that the town got a lot of pride from.”

Last October, Sting performed songs from The Last Ship on board Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2, in New York.

Sting said: “I played on the Queen Mary 2 last year – she was berthed in New York City. What a beautiful ship – I had a great time entertaining the crew and some of the passengers. It was something I’d like to do again.”

David Dingle, Chairman of Cunard, said:

“We’re delighted that in Cunard’s 175th anniversary year, we have been able to give back, through Sting’s The Last Ship shows at the Sage Theatre, to the Tyneside community whose shipyards built no fewer than 23 Cunard ships, including legendary liners like Mauretania and Carpathia. The Last Ship has songs that go to the heart of this country’s ship-building industries and reflect Cunard’s own proud heritage with the North East.”

To watch the video of Sting performing on Queen Mary 2 last year, click here.

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