42 Balloons The Musical

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About 42 Balloons

★★★★★ “Wonderful, exceptionally touching” The Times

New musical 42 Balloons is rumoured to be coming to London’s West End in 2024.

Written by Jack Godfrey, with dramaturgy by Ellie Coote, 42 Balloons is an exhilarating new musical about stupid dreams and doing whatever it takes to achieve them!

42 Balloons tells the incredible true story of Larry Walters and Carol Van Deusen. In July 1982, the pair constructed an aircraft using a lawn-chair and approximately 42 weather balloons, and launched Larry 16,000 feet into the sky above Los Angeles! It is a story about lifelong dreams, and doing whatever it takes to achieve them.

This joyous new musical features an original 80’s pop inspired score by Jack Godfrey (Babies The Musical).

A staged concert of 42 Balloons took place last November 2022 at the Vaudeville Theatre in London, directed by Ellie Coote, and starring Jordan Broatch, Madeline Charlemagne, Eloise Davies, Evelyn Hoskins, Melissa Jacques, Lemuel Knights, Garry Lee, Charlie McCullagh, Laura Dawn Pyatt, Travis Ross, Dillon Scott-Lewis, and Amelia Walker.

A fully staged production will take place at the Lowry theatre in Salford from 18 April to 19 May 2024, once again starring Charlie McCullagh (Bonnie & Clyde, Dr.Zhivago) as Larry and Evelyn Hoskins (Waitress, Gypsy, Spring Awakening) as Carol.

There is currently no confirmed news of a West End transfer for 42 Balloons, but sign-up to our emails alerts to be the first to know about booking.

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What's the story of 42 Balloons?

42 BALLOONS is an uplifting musical inspired by the highly improbable true story of how Larry, and his partner Carol Van Deusen, convinced their friends and family to help Larry achieve his dream of flying.

2nd of July 1982. Using a lawn chair and approximately 42 helium-filled weather balloons, truck driver Larry Walters defied all the odds (and FAA airspace regulations!) to make his lifelong dream a reality and fly sixteen thousand feet above Los Angeles.

Who is in the cast of 42 Balloons?

The Lowry Salford production will star: Charlie McCullagh as Larry, Evelyn Hoskins as Carol, Gillian Hardie as Carol’s Mum, Lejaun Sheppard as Ron, Simon Anthony as Letterman & Cover Ron, Jordan Broatch as Ensemble & Cover Letterman, Maddison Bulleyment as The Kid, Athena Collins as Ensemble & Cover Carol’s Mom, Morgan Gregory as Ensemble, Matt Jones as Swing, Luke Latchman as Ensemble, Rebekah Lowings as Cover Carol, Jamie Pritchard as Cover Larry, Laura Dawn Pyatt as Ensemble & Dance Captain, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda as Ensemble & Assistant Dance Captain, and Natasha Wilde as Swing.

Who are the creative team of 42 Balloons?

Written by Jack Godfrey.

The Lowry Salford production’s creative team includes: Director Ellie Coote, orchestrations and arrangements by Joe Beighton, choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento, scenic design by Milla Clarke, costume design by Natalie Pryce, video design by Andrzej Goulding, lighting design by Bruno Poet, sound design by Paul Gatehouse, and music direction by Flynn Sturgeon.


Reviews of 42 Balloons

★★★★★ "A wonderful, exceptionally touching new musical" - The Times
★★★★★ “Funny, touching, uplifting” - The Stage
★★★★★ "A must-see" - Manchester Evening News
★★★★ "Charming musical about reaching for the sky" - Guardian
★★★★ "A soaring success" - What's On Stage

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Ticket Information

Official Theatre tickets for 42 Balloons Book tickets to 42 Balloons with WestEndTheatre.com. You will be purchasing official London theatre tickets from an authorised retailer and member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers.


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News about 42 Balloons

Music: New musical 42 Balloons releases EP
42 Balloons, a new musical which is coming to The Lowry in Salford next month, has released a cast EP. The show is produced by Andy Barnes and Wendy Barnes from Global Musicals (SIX, The Choir of Man) and Kevin McCollum from Alchemation (Mrs Doubtfire, SIX, Rent). The 42 Balloons Studio Cast EP is now available to stream and download. Grammy-nominated duo Sam Featherstone and Joe Beighton, who have orchestrated, arranged and musically supervised the show, plus the show's author Jack Godfrey, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, have produced the EP, recorded in Miloco Studios in London. The EP features the forthcoming cast, who were announced in January, including Evelyn Hoskins, Charlie McCullagh, Gillian Hardie, Lejaun Sheppard, Simon Anthony, Jordan Broatch, Maddison Bulleyment, Athena Collins, Morgan Gregory, Luke Latchman, Laura Dawn Pyatt, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, and Natasha Wilde. 42 Balloons will premiere at The Lowry in Salford on 18 April, playing to 19 May 2024. The show is inspired by the true story of truck driver Larry Walters, who with his partner Carol Van Deusen convinced their friends and family to help Larry achieve his dream of flying – using a lawn chair and approximately 42 helium-filled weather balloons! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRyR3AFSFjs Ellie Coote (This is a Love Story) is director and dramaturg on the show, with orchestrations, arrangements and musical supervision by Joe Beighton (SIX), choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento (How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying), scenic design by Milla Clarke (Mates In Chelsea), costume design by Natalie Pryce (VANYA, Newsies), video design by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Andrzej Goulding (Life of Pi, & Juliet), lighting design by Tony and Olivier Award-nominee Bruno Poet (Tina – The Tina Turner Musical), sound design by Grammy and Tony Award-nominee Paul Gatehouse (SIX, Mary Poppins), casting by Pearson Casting CDG (SIX), and music direction by Flynn Sturgeon (Roles We’ll Never Play). Sam Featherstone said in a statement: “Working on these tracks has been so much fun: 80s vibes combined with Jack’s catchy songwriting is a perfect match! These 8 songs are a gorgeous snapshot of 42 Balloons. Catchy, epic and a lot of fun to work on. Listen now and then go book tickets to see the show!” The show is also produced in association with The Lowry, Debbie Hicks, Sam Levy, S&Co and Kenny Wax. More about 42 Balloons
42 Balloons casting announced for Salford’s The Lowry theatre
Final casting has been revealed for the forthcoming new musical 42 Balloons at The Lowry theatre in Salford. Already announced are Charlie McCullagh (Bonnie & Clyde, Dr.Zhivago) as Larry and Evelyn Hoskins (Waitress, Gypsy, Spring Awakening) as Carol, who are reprising their roles from a 2022 staged concert performance of the show in London. They will be joined by Gillian Hardie (Kinky Boots, Blood Brothers) as Carol’s Mum, and Lejaun Sheppard (The Book of Mormon, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) as Ron. The cast also includes Simon Anthony as Letterman & Cover Ron, Jordan Broatch as Ensemble & Cover Letterman, Maddison Bulleyment as The Kid, Athena Collins as Ensemble & Cover Carol’s Mom, Morgan Gregory as Ensemble, Matt Jones as Swing, Luke Latchman as Ensemble, Rebekah Lowings as Cover Carol, Jamie Pritchard as Cover Larry, Laura Dawn Pyatt as Ensemble & Dance Captain, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda as Ensemble & Assistant Dance Captain, and Natasha Wilde as Swing. 42 Balloons will play The Lowry in Salford from 18 April to 19 May 2024, and has an 80s pop-inspired score by Jack Godfrey (Babies), who also wrote the book. Video: "Lawn Chair Larry" from 42 Balloons https://youtu.be/yRyR3AFSFjs The creative team includes director Ellie Coote, plus orchestrations and arrangements by Joe Beighton, choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento, scenic design by Milla Clarke, costume design by Natalie Pryce, video design by Andrzej Goulding, lighting design by Bruno Poet, sound design by Paul Gatehouse, and music direction by Flynn Sturgeon. The show is about truck driver Larry Walters, who with his partner Carol Van Deusen convinced their friends and family to help Larry achieve his dream of flying - using a lawn chair and approximately 42 helium-filled weather balloons! The show is from the producers of Six The Musical and Mrs Doubtfire, and is widely tipped for a West End run. Writer Jack Godfrey said in a statement: “I am so excited for the full production of 42 Balloons coming to the Lowry in April. It's been about six years since I started writing the show after discovering the incredible story of Larry's flight during a late night online deep dive, and it's extremely cool and slightly surreal to see it being realised as a full production for the first time. I'm extremely grateful for the amazing cast and creative team bringing the show to life and I can't wait to share 42 Balloons with everyone.” Producer Wendy Barnes said: “It’s our passion to produce new musicals with original stories - and original scores - by emerging artists, and we can’t wait for audiences to discover 42 Balloons and fall in love with the show as much as we have. Jack’s created a beautiful musical inspired by a remarkable true story from the early 80’s and has written a pop score that stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the hits of that decade.” More about tickets to 42 Balloons
42 Balloons musical to play The Lowry Salford
The producers of Six The Musical and Mrs Doubtfire are set to produce new British musical 42 Balloons next year. 42 Balloons will play The Lowry in Salford from 18 April to 19 May 2024. The show is billed as an uplifting musical inspired by the highly improbable true story of how Larry, and his partner Carol Van Deusen, convinced their friends and family to help Larry achieve his dream of flying. Using a lawn chair and approximately 42 helium-filled weather balloons, truck driver Larry Walters defied all the odds (and FAA airspace regulations!) to make his lifelong dream a reality and fly sixteen thousand feet above Los Angeles! 42 Balloons boasts an 80s pop-inspired score, plus book, by Jack Godfrey (Babies), and will star Charlie McCullagh (Bonnie & Clyde, Dr.Zhivago) as Larry and Evelyn Hoskins (Waitress, Gypsy, Spring Awakening) as Carol, who are reprising their roles from a 2022 staged concert performance of the show in the West End. The show will be directed by Ellie Coote, with orchestrations and arrangements by Joe Beighton, choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento, casting by Pearson Casting CDG and music direction by Flynn Sturgeon. Further casting and creatives will be announced. Writer Jack Godfrey said in a statement: “After five years of writing and a journey that has at times seemed as unlikely as Larry’s flight, it feels incredibly surreal that we now get to present the full production of 42 Balloons next year. I’m extremely proud of our team, I’m hugely grateful to everyone who has helped us to get to this point and I can’t wait to share this show with everyone.” Producer Wendy Barnes said: “In 42 Balloons, Jack Godfrey gives us a contemporary, original musical score rather uniquely fused with 80s inspired familiarity and nostalgia in equal measure. I was introduced to the show as a first draft of act one through our open submissions process and after a quick google of the real-life Larry Walters and hearing Jack’s impressive score and witty lyrics, I was hooked by the end of the Prologue! Andy and I are dedicated to supporting the work of lesser-known, emerging British artists and we’re incredibly excited to collaborate with Jack, The Lowry and the wider creative team to bring this fantastic new musical to audiences.” Steve Cowton and Matthew Eames, co-Heads of Theatre at The Lowry said: “‘We have invested a lot in new musicals in recent years – through Rewrites, Operation Mincemeat, Police Cops and our artist development programme – but it is important that this is backed up by bold programming. Supporting the premiere production of 42 Balloons felt like the natural next step. Jack is an incredibly exciting writer, and this is a fascinating story to tell. We think audiences will love it and we are delighted they can see it here first!” 42 Balloons is produced by Andy & Wendy Barnes for Global Musicals & Kevin McCollum in association with The Lowry, Debbie Hicks, Sam Levy, S&Co and Kenny Wax. More about tickets to 42 Balloons
Video: 42 Balloons rehearsals, extra shows added
Producers of the forthcoming staged concert of musical 42 Balloons have added extra performance dates, and dropped a behind-the-scenes video of rehearsals for the show. To be staged at the Vaudeville Theatre, home of hit West End musical SIX, the concerts will run on Monday 14 November at 7.30pm, Monday 21 November at 7.30pm, and Monday 28 November at 7.30pm with now an additional 2.30pm matinee also added on the 28th. The show is produced by award winning producers Andy and Wendy Barnes from Global Musicals (Six, The Choir of Man, Pieces of String, Lift) together with Kevin McCollum from Alchemation (In The Heights, Avenue Q, Rent, Mrs Doubtfire, The Notebook), through their sister company Pitch Perfect - which creates and develops new contemporary musicals. 42 Balloons is by Jack Godfrey (This is a Love Story, Babies), and has been developed and workshopped over the last three years. The cast includes Jordan Broatch, Madeline Charlemagne, Eloise Davies, Evelyn Hoskins, Melissa Jacques, Lemuel Knights, Garry Lee, Charlie McCullagh, Laura Dawn Pyatt, Travis Ross, Dillon Scott-Lewis, and Amelia Walker. The concerts are directed by Ellie Coote, who also serves as dramaturg, with choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento, orchestrations and musical supervision by Joe Beighton, sound design by Paul Gatehouse and scenic and costume design by Libby Todd. Flynn Sturgeon will be the musical director with casting by Pearson Casting. Inspired by a highly improbable true story, and featuring an original 80s-pop-inspired score, 42 Balloons promises to be an exhilarating new musical about stupid dreams and doing whatever it takes to achieve them. Andy and Wendy Barnes said, “It is always a nerve-wracking moment when you put a brand-new musical in front of an audience for the first time, but 42 Balloons is one of the most exciting new musicals we have ever add the pleasure to develop and produce. It’s an inspiring story about real people that offers an insight into how far someone will go to achieve their ambitions and what happens if it’s not what you expected it to be, and Jack’s original music takes you right back to the 80’s when the show is set.” More about 42 Balloons at the Vaudeville Theatre in London Video: Rehearsals of 42 Balloons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS5gxHOhVcE
New musical 42 Balloons to run at Vaudeville Theatre
New West End musical 42 Balloons is heading to the Vaudeville Theatre in November, for three concert performances. Written by Jack Godfrey with dramaturgy by Ellie Coote, the concert production is from the producers of Six The Musical and The Choir of Man, and will run on 14, 21, and 28 November 2022 at the Vaudeville. 42 Balloons tells the true story of Larry Walters and Carol Van Deusen, who, in July 1982, constructed an aircraft using a lawn-chair and approximately 42 weather balloons and launched Larry 16,000 feet into the sky above Los Angeles. It is a story about lifelong dreams, and doing whatever it takes to achieve them. The concert will star Jordan Broatch, Madeline Charlemagne, Eloise Davies, Evelyn Hoskins, Melissa Jacques, Lemuel Knights, Garry Lee, Charlie McCullagh, Laura Dawn Pyatt, Travis Ross, Dillon Scott-Lewis, and Amelia Walker. Directed by Ellie Coote, 42 Balloons has choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento, orchestrations and musical supervision by Joe Beighton, sound design by Paul Gatehouse, scenic and costume design by Libby Todd, musical direction by Flynn Sturgeon and casting by Pearson Casting. Producers Andy and Wendy Barnes of Global Musicals said: "It is always a nerve-wracking moment when you put a brand-new musical in front of an audience for the first time, but 42 Balloons is one of the most exciting new musicals we have ever add the pleasure to develop and produce. It's an inspiring story about real people that offers an insight into how far someone will go to achieve their ambitions and what happens if it's not what you expected it to be, and Jack's original music takes you right back to the 80's when the show is set." The concerts are also produced by Kevin McCollum from Alchemation. More about 42 Balloons

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