Wednesday, January 10

Joe McGann to replace Jimmy Nail in principal casting announced for Sting's The Last Ship Musical

Principal casting has been announced for the UK premiere of The Last Ship  musical by  Sting – which is to premiere in the UK  at Northern Stage in Newcastle on 12th  March 2018, before embarking on a major UK and Ireland tour. The casting of Joe McGann (Jackie White), Charlie Hardwick (Peggy White), Richard Fleeshman (Gideon Fletcher) and Frances McNamee (Meg Dawson) has today been announced.

Joe McGann will now take on the role of Jackie White, despite the previous announcement that Jimmy Nail would be playing the role he originated on Broadway.Nail said: “I was very much looking forward to appearing in Sting’s The Last Ship, particularly here in my home city. Sadly that’s not to be. I would like to thank the production in allowing FACT, the charity of which I’m a patron, to benefit from the planned gala charity event. To anyone who has purchased a ticket, please, go see the show and give this vessel the launch it so deserves. You’ll hear some of the finest musical works ever composed for the stage.”

Karl Sydow, producer of The Last Ship, said: “After protracted negotiations carried out in good faith we regret to announce the production’s offer of employment to Jimmy Nail has been withdrawn. All at The Last Ship thank him for his generosity and enormous contribution during what has been an eight year journey.

Joe McGann is perhaps best known for his lead role as Charlie Burrows in the comedy series The Upper Hand. Theatre credits include Elf (Plymouth Theatre Royal/Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, Dominion Theatre, West End and Lowry, Salford); The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (UK tour); Calendar Girls (three UK tours), Oliver! (London Palladium), Fiddler On the Roof (UK tour, 2008), Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls (UK tour, 2006).

Charlie Hardwick played Val Pollard from 2004 to 2015 and again in 2017 in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. Stage credits include Hyem (Theatre 503/Northern Stage) and Double Lives (Live Theatre). 

Richard Fleeshman has been acting since the age of 12 when he played the role of Craig Harris in Coronation Street for four years.A talented singer-songwriter, his stage roles include Sam Wheat in Ghost the Musical, a part he originated and played in the West End and on Broadway, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (UK tour) and Bobby Strong in Urinetown (original West End production).


Frances McNamee recently appeared alongside Kelsey Grammer in Big Fish (The Other Palace). Other stage credits include The Mother (Tricycle), Love’s Labour’s Lost, Love’s Labour’s Won (RSC), Punishment Without Revenge (Arcola/Theatre Royal Bath/Belgrade Coventry), Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal and Derngate), The Borrowers (Northern Stage), Epsom Downs (Salisbury Playhouse), The Phoenix of Madrid, The Surprise of Love (Theatre Royal Bath) and Les Misérables 20th anniversary gala performance (West End).

Lorne Campbell, Northern Stage’s artistic director, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Joe McGann, Charlie Hardwick, Richard Fleeshman, Frances McNamee and the rest of the company to Northern Stage for The Last Ship.Alongside some wonderful old friends of the company, we welcome some remarkable new performers from across the UK. We are all hugely excited to move into rehearsal and to bring this incredible score and epic story to audiences across the UK and Ireland.”

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