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.