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Sting boosts ailing Broadway show

Sting is hoping his star power can plug up a leaky ship on Broadway.

The singer-songwriter will play the role of a foreman onstage in his musical The Last Ship, starting from December 9 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

The show, for which Sting supplied songs and lyrics, has been struggling at the box office.

The show, which features no big stars, brought in only 536,000 dollars (£342,219) last week, less than half its 1.2 million dollar (£766,000) potential. The theatre was 60% full.

The Last Ship is a semi-autobiographical story about a prodigal son who returns to his shipbuilding town to reclaim the girl he abandoned when he fled years before.

Former Police star Sting, born Gordon Sumner, drew on his childhood growing up in Newcastle. He was last onstage on Broadway in 1989's revival of The Threepenny Opera.

Sting said: "We win the battle in the theatre every day. Hands down, we win the battle.

"Outside, the perception is not what it should be. So I'm hoping I can give us more of a groundswell, more of a tipping point."

Sting replaces Jimmy Nail in the foreman's role. He said he needed Nail's blessing before he could "entertain this idea".

Nail apparently readily agreed and will now be Sting's understudy.

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