Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison
Last night (9 April 2018) my friend and I attended the opening night of The Last Ship at Liverpool’s Playhouse theatre. We were both very excited to see this production which has original music and lyrics written by Sting.
The Last Ship is set in North East England in 1980’s and centre’s around a shipyard doomed for closure. We meet various interesting characters involved with the shipyard and learn more about them. There is Gideon Fletcher, played by Richard Fleeshman, who 17 years earlier joined the Navy and left his hometown desperate not to live his life as his Father before him. When Gideon set sail he left behind his sweetheart Meg Dawson, played by Frances McNamee, seventeen years on Meg has given up on waiting for Gideon to return and has built her own independent life. The audience is also introduced to Jackie White, played by Joe McGann, who is foreman of the shipyard and his supportive wife Peggy White, played by Charlie Hardwick. These main characters were surrounded by many more roles who added depth and insight into the lives of the shipyard workers. Every single member of the cast were brilliantly believable.
The set was epic, a mix of fixed structures, curtains, projection and lighting really transported the audience to that era and area as well as increasing and complimenting the live action drama. In addition to the fantastic cast and excellent set, the music in this performance was phenomenal. Each piece of music captured and enhanced the mood of performance.
The whole production was a joy to watch, there were moments of intense drama, sadness, comedy and above all an overwhelming sense of the power and passion of the working man and woman. There wasn’t a single part of this show I didn’t enjoy and I would happily return to watch it again and again. We also had a special treat at the end of the show when Sting himself joined the cast on stage for the encore!
Tickets cost from £10 to £35 (booking fees may apply).
The Last Ship is at the Liverpool Playhouse from 9-14 April 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.everymanplayhouse.com or call the box office on 0151 709 4776