Cast News: 42 Balloons

Written by on January 28, 2024

Cast News: 42 Balloons


Award winning producers Andy Barnes and Wendy Barnes from Global Musicals (SIX, The Choir of Man, Pieces of String, Lift) and Kevin McCollum from Alchemation (Mrs Doubtfire, SIX, Rent, Avenue Q) are delighted to announce details of the full cast and creative team for the premiere production of new musical 42 Balloons playing at The Lowry, Salford from 18 April – 19 May 2024, with a gala performance on Thursday 2 May.

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.
No, seriously.    In a chair.

Charlie McCullagh, Evelyn Hoskins – Pic: Josh Bird. Photographed during the 2022 workshop production

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. Featuring an irresistible, 80s pop-inspired score, 42 BALLOONS questions how far you would go to make your dreams come true. Is the sky actually the limit, and what happens if it doesn’t all go to plan?



Joining the previously announced Charlie McCullagh (Bonnie & Clyde, Dr.Zhivago) and Evelyn Hoskins (Waitress, Gypsy, Spring Awakening) reprising their roles as ‘Larry’ and ‘Carol’ from the 2022 staged concert performances in the West End, will be Gillian Hardie (Kinky Boots, Blood Brothers, Bag Girls The Musical) as ‘Carol’s Mom’ and Lejaun Sheppard (The Book of Mormon, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) as ‘Ron’. The rest of the company will comprise Simon Anthony (Guys & Dolls, White Christmas),  Jordan Broatch (You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Anyone Can Whistle),  Maddison Bulleyment (SIX, The Bridges of Madison County),  Athena Collins (SIX, Kin The Musical), Morgan Gregory (Elf, Newsies), Matt Jones (Pretty Woman, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory), Luke Latchman (Sunset Boulevard, Millennials), Rebekah Lowings (My Fair Lady, Ghost The Musical), Jamie Pritchard (Les Misérables), Laura Dawn Pyatt (SIX),  Tinovimbanashe Sibanda (Guys & Dolls, Moulin Rouge!) and Natasha Wilde (2023 graduate).

42 Balloons full cast

42 Balloons has book, music and lyrics by Jack Godfrey whose other works include This is a Love Story (Dundee Rep) and Babies (Lyric).

Ellie Coote (This is a Love Story) is director & dramaturg, with orchestrations, arrangements and musical supervision by Joe Beighton (SIX), choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento (How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, But I’m A Cheerleader), scenic design by Milla Clarke (Mates In Chelsea, Shooting Hedda Gabler), 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, Miss Saigon), 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, The Three Little Pigs).

42 Balloons has been in development since 2020 with Perfect Pitch – an entity dedicated exclusively to creating, developing and promoting new contemporary British musicals. The song 42 Balloons and a Lawnchair was released in 2021 on Perfect Pitch’s Rise:Up YouTube channel and in November 2022, the producers presented four semi-staged concert performances at the Vaudeville Theatre, which received a hugely positive response from public and theatre commentators alike.

Jack Godfrey

Jack Godfrey said, “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.”

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.”

42 Balloons is produced by Andy Barnes & Wendy Barnes for Global Musicals & Kevin McCollum in association with The Lowry, Debbie Hicks, Sam Levy, S&Co and Kenny Wax.

Get more information and ticket booking via the official site HERE 

A brand-new song from the show has also been released publicly today. “Lawn Chair Larry” is now available to download on all streaming platforms. An EP of selected songs from the show will be released on Friday 8 March.


Current track