Fresh off the debut of his critically acclaimed musical, The Last Ship, GRAMMY award winning musician, Sting, stopped in Los Angeles for an intimate show with fans. The hour long stream, iHeartRadio LIVE with Sting, which featured music from the artist's various albums as well as from his musical, was hosted by KOST 103.5’s Ellen K. Fans packed out the theater and were also able to watch all over the country as Sting talked about the theatrical reimagining of his 1992 album The Soul Cages, the meaning of his songs, and his life growing up.
The Last Ship tells the story of a man named Gideon returning home after 17 years at sea as he learns that the local shipyard his town was built around is closing. Gideon's former love, Meg, has also moved on. Tensions flare and picket lines are drawn as foreman Jackie White — played by Sting — rallies the workers to take over the shipyard and build one last ship in the face of the gathering storm.
Two of The Last Ship's main actors, Frances McNamee and Oliver Savile, joined Sting onstage, putting on a show stopping performance of hits from The Last Ship.
Check out some questions answered during Sting's Q&A with Ellen K below!
Is it true that you wrote the song, “If You Love Somebody Set them Free” as an answer to “Every Breath You Take?”
"It’s the antidote actually. “Every Breath You Take” is a very strange song. People have different interpretations of it. People think it’s a love song. A lot of people have been married to it, I know for a fact. Other people think it’s quite sinister. That it’s about stalking someone or controlling someone. I think both are true and I think this song has been amazingly successful over the years. I think it’s the most played song on American radio - in history. I think it’s because of that ambiguity. So I never contradict any interpretation. I think it’s strangely both."
You know, you're a great actor.
“I never wanted to be an actor. I never had the ambition. I wasn’t even in the school play. I was a delinquent. I sort of fell into it by accident and even in this play, I didn’t write it for me to be in it. But once I’d agreed to do it and got my feet wet, I realized how much I enjoyed it. I’m having a ball up there it’s fantastic."
Why return to the stage after a 6 year hiatus?
"I’m from the school of thought where a piece of art is never finished. I write songs and I make records, but they are just the starting point for evolutionary growth. For something that will be an organic living thing. So the play changes every night because it’s made by humans and not by robots. Everybody has a little incremental change which will affect what you do. So night after night, week after week the play will evolve. This play has gone through many iterations. Some characters have disappeared, some characters have been conflated into one. So it will continue to change."
The Last Ship is autobiographical, correct?
"It wasn’t meant to be. I think I revealed more about myself than I intended to. I see a lot of me in this play. It’s about my hometown, it’s about people I knew and was brought up with. But I recognize bits of my life up there."
The musical premiered this month at in LA at Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre and will make its way to San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre, Washington, D.C.'s National Theatre, St. Maul's Ordway, and Detroit's Detroit Opera House.