Sting made his debut in Broadway’s The Last Ship this week and received a standing ovation for his performance.

Sting In ‘The Last Ship’

Though Sting composed the music for The Last Ship, he never had any intention of acting in the musical. However, when the show wasn’t selling as many tickets as he and producers had hoped, he decided to join the cast, replacing Jimmy Nail as the foreman.

“I had no intention of going in when I was writing it, but I wanted to help the show out. It’s hard to put on a new musical on Broadway, as many shows will tell you,” Sting told Billboard. “We had a secret weapon and we used it.”

The Last Ship is semi-autobiographical for the rock star, weaving a tale about a young man who returns to his fatherland in northern England to woo back the woman he’d left years before while chasing after his own dreams. Upon his return, he sees that the shipbuilders are now mostly out of work and want to put their skills to use on one final ship.

“It’s a play. It’s supposed to be fun and it’s great fun,” Sting said after his performance in The Last Ship. “The audience were so with us. They were so buoyant. The cast, too. It was a wonderful experience.”

Sting has previously appeared on the Broadway stage in The Threepenny Opera revival in 1989. His presence in The Last Ship has already been felt financially by producers, who say the show has raised $1 million since it was announced Sting would be appearing in it.

Producer Jeffrey Seller says it’s not only about doing better at the box office – but also about getting a better chance at nabbing a Tony. “Our goal is to win the Tony,” Seller told The New York Times.  “We need a boost, we need to breakthrough, we need some ammo.”

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