Sting Opens up About His Passion-Project, The Last Ship
— February 14, 2019
ETALK Host Danielle Graham recently travelled to London, England for an exclusive one-on-one interview with multi award-winning musician and actor, Sting to discuss his critically acclaimed musical, “The Last Ship.” Graham and the legendary artist discuss his new musical and how the show became a true passion project for him, writing both the music and lyrics for the production.
Based on Sting’s childhood hometown, “The Last Ship” is set in the outskirts of London, UK and tells the story of a young man who fights for his community after discovering his local shipyard is closing down.
In the 30-minute special, ETALK PRESENTS: THE LAST SHIP, Sting discusses his passion for the musical, his upbringing, his time as a school teacher, and the challenges of constant touring.
Here is a sneak peek of the exclusive sit down:
Danielle Graham: This is what you knew and this is what you saw?
Sting: I grew up very close to the river Tyne, within spitting distance of a shipyard where they’ve built the biggest ships ever constructed on planet Earth, built right on the end of my street. And as a young kid, I would watch thousands of men march down the hill to work in the shipyard and think “is this me? Is this my fate?” And so I needed to figure out what that meant in my life, how important these symbols were, how important this community was, and came to the conclusion I needed to honour that community by telling their story so I felt I was in a unique position as a songwriter, having lived there, having lived that life with those people, to tell their story. So now that's what I've been trying to do.
Danielle Graham: And on your very long list of accomplishments, where does this one rank for you personally?
Sting: Pretty high. I think it's involved in my own search for my own reasoning. You know, why I behave the way I do. Why I think the way I do. It was created in my first seven years, my first 10 years. And so I need to, as painful as it is, go back there and see myself as a kid and ask questions.
Danielle Graham: Could that kid have imagined this life? Or did that kid imagine this life?
Sting: That kid did imagine this life, believe me. I had a lot of time on my own, and I would dream about being a musician. This was my wildest ambition. That I would make a living as a musician.
Danielle Graham: This is eight shows a week, constant rehearsals, giving a lot in every performance. What does that life look like?
Sting: Well, I mean hard work is no stranger to me, you know. It's just very, very engaging. It's been the best seven years of my life, to be honest with you. It is so, so challenging and so much fun and you know, doing difficult stuff. I don't act very much but you know, I take it seriously and I have the greatest respect for other performers. The actors, singers and dancers, musicians on the show are extraordinary, so I've got to raise my game to stay in it, so it's very uh, it's challenging.
Danielle Graham: What has been the reaction from the other cast mates to working with you? There had to have been a certain level of starstruckness?
Sting: You better ask them. I'm a company member, and I do the work. I was in the warmups on the floor and I'm happy to be, honoured to be sharing the adventure with them. They're much younger than me mainly, and so I love that enthusiasm and the quality of professionalism, the singing, the acting, I mean the way they move. It's really inspiring.
ETALK PRESENTS: THE LAST SHIP airs on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. ET on CTV.