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Sting announces third date at Sage Gateshead

A third performance by Sting of songs from his latest album is taking place at Sage Gateshead due to "phenomenal demand".

Frank Ockenfels Sting is to perform an extra date at Sage Gateshead
Sting is to perform an extra date at Sage Gateshead

Sting’s musical The Last Ship may have sunk on Broadway but demand for its songs is buoyant on Tyneside.

Sage Gateshead have announced that, due to “phenomenal public demand”, the Wallsend-born singer will perform a third concert in their big Hall One.

In addition to the evening concerts scheduled for April 24 and 25, which are already sold out, there will be a 2pm matinee on the 25th, a Saturday.

The three concerts will feature the songs from Sting’s latest album, The Last Ship, which was released ahead of the musical of the same name.

The Last Ship opened in New York last October after a five-week try-out in Chicago but closed last month after Sting had stepped into the shipyard foreman’s role previously taken by Jimmy Nail.

Sting’s addition to the cast saw a boost in ticket sales but the show closed anyway on January 24. He was already committed to a world tour with Paul Simon under the heading On Stage Together.

Jimmy Nail and the cast of Sting's musical, The Last Ship
Jimmy Nail and the cast of Sting's musical, The Last Ship

The first two concerts featuring songs from The Last Ship were among the fastest selling ever at Sage Gateshead.

They were organised in aid of the venue’s 10th Birthday Appeal, which was established to build a new endowment to fund its activities in the future.

Tickets for the additional third concert will go on sale to the general public on Friday, although Sting.com fan club members will be able to buy them on Wednesday and Sage Supporters on Thursday.

Joining Sting on stage will be other musicians including Jimmy Nail, The Wilson Family and Kathryn Tickell, all closely involved with The Last Ship project.

The musical, described as a musical allegory set in Wallsend, had an early try-out performance in front of an invited audience at Live Theatre on Newcastle Quayside in 2012.

Michael Esper in Sting's musical, The Last Ship
Michael Esper in Sting's musical, The Last Ship

Work on bringing it to the New York stage then transferred across the Atlantic with a largely American cast and production team.

Sting performed a taster from the album during the Great North Run Million celebration on Tyneside last summer.

However, the April concerts offer the first chance to hear him perform all the songs from an album which draws much of its inspiration from his formative years on Tyneside.

The concerts at Sage Gateshead are supported by cruise line company Cunard, which commissioned many ships from the Swan Hunter shipyard, Shepherd Offshore, Port of Tyne and Gateshead and North Tyneside councils.

Sting said at the time the first concerts were announced: “The North East has a great creative atmosphere and legacy. Sage Gateshead sits proudly at its cultural heart and I’m always happy to support it.”

Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday. Box office: 0191 443 4661 or www.sagegateshead.com

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