Sting is to perform his new album commemorating the shipyards of his Tyneside youth in a series of benefit shows at a small New York theatre – but he apparently has no plans to play material from the LP in the UK.
New York's Public Theater arts organisation has announced that the singer's 10 shows at its Anspacher theatre this autumn will be the "first and only" opportunities to hear Sting perform tracks from The Last Ship, his 11th studio album.
The Last Ship is "an elegy for and a celebration of the working-class life of the Newcastle shipyards," according to the Public Theater's artistic director Oskar Eustis, who says it is "shaping up to be a masterpiece".
Despite the album's content, the theatre says Sting won't be bringing the album to Newcastle. The singer will play just 10 shows, from 25 September to 9 October, to raise money for Public Theater, a non-profit organisation that aims to make theatre accessible to all. The performances come after the intended release on 24 September of the new LP, which is Sting's first album of original material since 2003's Sacred Love.
However, The Last Ship may reach the UK as a play. Sting is working with screenwriters John Logan and Brian Yorkey to develop a stage musical, which they hope to premiere on Broadway in late 2014. It is reportedly set in the shipyard at Wallsend, near where Sting grew up. "[The Last Ship is] not just pop music transposed into the theatre," Yorkey told the New York Times last September. "He's writing great theatre music."
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