Sting's musical, The Last Ship will play its final performance on Broadway later this month.
Early closing notices have been posted at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York for the production which was inspired by the singer’s childhood in Wallsend.
Having written the musical, Sting took over the role of shipyard foreman Jackie White from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Jimmy Nail at the beginning of December and will remain in the show until it closes on January 24.
In an email to the production crew and supporters, which was published by the New York Times, the producers of the show said: “We have been bewildered and saddened by our inability to sustain an audience for this musical that we deeply love.”
They added they were “heartened that we have been able to share this work with 140,000 theatregoers since our start last summer in Chicago and that Sting’s herculean participation on stage since December 9 has lengthened our run, filled the theatre with enthusiastic audiences and helped to burnish The Last Ship in the canon of beautiful, original new musicals.”
The Last Ship opened on Broadway on October 26, following an encouraging preview run in Chicago. Reviews were mixed-to-positive and featured much praise for the original score and the lead performances.
Sting, 63, performed the title song with the likes of Jimmy Nail, Kathryn Tickell and The Unthanks as part of the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides in September.
Set on Tyneside, the musical tells the story of a community determined to preserve the only way of life it has ever known, and a woman who must choose between the two men she loves.
A work-in-progress incarnation of the production was performed at Live Theatre, Newcastle in early 2012 and a number of actors and musicians have been involved in both the on-stage show and the accompanying album - none more so than the aforementioned Jimmy Nail and Kathryn Tickell.
There’s little doubt the musical has been a labour of love for Grammy Award-winner Sting who threw his weight behind promoting it in the US before signing on to perform in it to boost box office receipts.
And although his appearance on the cast list undoubtedly did this, it seems the show, which had reported weekly running costs of $600,000, wasn’t bringing in enough money to sustain its run any further than Sting’s on-stage commitment.
North East audiences will however still get to hear the music from the show. Two exclusive UK performances at Sage Gateshead on April 24 and 25 will be going ahead as planned, benefitting the venue’s 10th Birthday Appeal.