Entertainment & Arts

Sting's Broadway musical to close, as theatres report blockbuster year

Sting taking his bows at the end of a performance of The Last Ship Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sting (centre) has been appearing in The Last Ship since 9 December

Sting's Broadway musical is to close on 24 January, after just three months.

The Last Ship, a story of unemployed shipbuilders who take over a factory to build a new vessel, opened on 26 October to mixed reviews.

Last month, Sting stepped in to replace leading man Jimmy Nail in a bid to revive flagging ticket sales.

His appearance had a "galvanizing impact", but producers felt attendance would drop when he left, especially during the slow winter period.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Long-running shows The Lion King, The Book of Mormon and Wicked were among the top grossing shows for 2014

News of the closure came after Broadway theatres reported a record-breaking year for attendance and box-office takings in 2014.

A total of 13.1 million people went to see shows in the heart of New York last year, bringing in $1.36bn (£0.89bn).

The Broadway League, which represents producers and theatre owners, said attendance was up 13 percent and box-office takings up 14 percent.

The week ending Sunday 28 December was the biggest Christmas week in history for the theatre district - but the best-attended and highest-grossing period overall was New Year week.

Long-running shows Wicked, The Lion King and The Book of Mormon were among the top-grossing shows, with each pulling in more than $2.2 million (£1.45 million) for the New Year week.

Nearly 20 new shows are scheduled to open on Broadway in 2015, including a musical version of the 2003 Jack Black film School of Rock.

It is written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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