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Joe McGann replaces Jimmy Nail in The Last Ship

Jimmy Nail will no longer star in Sting’s musical The Last Ship which is coming to the Playhouse as part of it UK premiere.

Instead, Liverpool’s Joe McGann will take over the role of shipyard foreman Jackie White in the show which will spend a week at the Williamson Square in April.

McGann, eldest of the famous Kensington acting clan, will be joined by Corrie’s Richard Fleeshman – son of Brookside actress Sue Jenkins, who will appear as Gideon Fletcher.

The cast also includes Emmerdale’s Charlie Hardwick (Peggy White), who was born in Wallsend where the story is set, and Frances McNamee (Meg Dawson) whose credits include appearances with the RSC and in the West End.

Nail, who was due to head the Northern Stage production opening in Newcastle in March, helped inspire Sting to write the show and previously starred in the premiere on Broadway and a special concert at The Sage in Gateshead.

Sting performing a song from The Last Ship at Merseyside Maritime Museum in December

The Last Ship producer Karl Sydow is reported as saying: “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carried out in good faith we regret to announce the production’s offer of employment to Jimmy Nail has been withdrawn.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.”

Meanwhile McGann has tweeted the news of his involvement in the show, saying: “I’m very excited and proud to be a part of this.”

The last time he appeared at the Playhouse was in One Fine Day, more than 20 years ago.

The Last Ship is inspired by singer-songwriter Sting’s childhood memories and demise of the ship-building industry in Wallsend in his native North East.

It comes to the Liverpool Playhouse from April 9-14.

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