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Sting and Shaggy at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre for opening night of The Last Ship - in pictures and video

By Annabal Bagdi | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

The red carpet was rolled out as global superstars Sting and Shaggy made a flying visit to the region.

Sting and Shaggy at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship
Sting and Shaggy attend Birmingham premiere

The unlikely musical duo put on a united front ahead of the opening night of Sting's debut musical The Last Ship.

But just a handful of fans were able to scramble to Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre before the curtain call for a quick glimpse of the pair.

Sting poses for pictures with fans as he arrives at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

Speaking to the Express & Star after the swift red carpet entrance, Sting revealed he was feeling nervous about seeing his work hit the stage.

The superstar, who had travelled from Warsaw for the appearance, said: "There is always a sense of anticipation, a little anxiety, all of those things you need.

Sting poses for pictures with fans as he arrives at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

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"I've seen this play many, many times, in America, up in Liverpool last week and Newcastle, and people start crying.

"Not because it's terrible but because they get emotionally swept up in the story."

Sting at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

The musical, which is at the theatre until Saturday, was inspired by Sting's 1991 album The Soul Cages and his childhood.

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It tells the tale of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard.

Sting at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

Despite it's backdrop being hundreds of miles away, the superstar said it would touch the hearts of theatre-goers in the city.

The former frontman of The Police added: "I think the themes of the play will resonate very much with the people of Birmingham.

Sting and Shaggy at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

"It's a very personal play for me because it's about my community, my hometown.

"I was born next to a shipyard and it's about the ship builders, there's a love story and there's some good songs in it."

Sting at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

Reggae star Shaggy - best known for hits including 'Boombastic', 'It Wasn't Me', and 'Angel' - joined pal Sting on Monday.

The Grammy-award winning artists are preparing to release album 44/876 on Friday after collaborating in the studio.

Sting at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

Shaggy gave his best Brummie accent a shot before revealing his hopes to bring the duo's upcoming tour to the Midlands.

He said: "It's beautiful in Birmingham. I'd love to [bring the tour here], it would be great. I love Birmingham."

Sting and Shaggy at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

Sting confirmed the pair would be coming to the region in the future, adding: "He and I, it seems like we're an odd couple but we actually get on really well, we sing well together and people will be surprised.

"The album, it's rooted in reggae music but it's not reggae - that's the common vibe we share.

Sting and Shaggy at The New Alexandra Theatre for the opening night of The Last Ship

"We've made a pop album with the underpinnings of reggae, lots of different styles."

Janet Hall travelled from her Kidderminster home with hopes of a swift encounter with legend Sting.

She said: "I was here for the show but that was a bonus. I'm looking forward to watching the show, it's one I've never seen before."

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

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