A team of balloonists have failed on a trip to the moon and are now hopelessly trapped circling the earth, with nothing to eat but sardine-flavoured Hula Hoops and nothing to do except tell each other stories…
Now they are running out of stories and need your help!
Able to make radio contact with earth at certain positions of orbit, the intrepid travellers ask for one thing and one thing only: more story ideas please!
Can you, the people of earth, help the balloonists keep their hopes up – and their marbles, by sending them fresh stories?
Listen to the results of the fresh stories as the balloonists fire their audio recordings back down to earth throughout the year, made available by helpful theatres and arts centres across the UK. See ‘Get Involved’ for more info.
Captain Helium has seen it all.
He was once the top-decorated flying ace in America, but fell into disgrace after accidentally ejecting the President into the sea.
Since then he has flown boring missions around the Nevada desert.
This is his last chance to reclaim his good name.
Mantis is the balloonists’ security.
She’s there to protect them in case aliens want to tangle.
Her backstory is largely unknown, other than that she’s been trained by every army in the world. And wears a lot of dog-tags.
She has a habit of springing out of places just behind you.
One day she wants to settle down and make swan sculptures on an apple farm.
Colin Patterson is not meant to be there.
An exchange student from New Zealand, he won a competition to look around the balloon but didn’t speak up to get out when it took off.
He wonders when he’ll get to see his mum again.
Has the ability to sleep anywhere at any time, even standing up.
Major Rocketstream (Xtreme) is captain Helium’s old rival.
He’s just returning from the first ever human flight to MARS, which he did all on his own.
Rocketstream personally saved the President’s life.
He’s the most decorated pilot ever to fly.
Dave arrived as part of the balloon crew through a case of universal misunderstanding and a blocked toilet, only realising he was bound for space once the balloon took off.
However, he has proved himself invaluable due to his general mechanical skill, and impressive ability to remove blockages and plug leaks. He’s also a keen astronomer.
Dame Kapoor is an eccentric billionaire with a fascination with the future and space travel.
She financed the balloon moon mission (as well as testing out her collection of antique flying machines she wants some moon-rock jewellery), but being very busy, promptly forgot about the mission after the launch.
She’s too important to get hold of so the balloonists are unable to contact her about a rescue mission.
Ynes Elena is the head of the Mexican space mission.
Well, she is also the body – as she is the only Mexican astronaut currently in space. Which means she has been on her own in a space station for 961 days.
She’s quite happy as she conducts her experiments – what she was born to do, but she lacks company, and the isolation is beginning to send her a little to the margins.
Her best friend on board is a cactus, called Cassius.
She talks to him a little too much.
As the balloon’s chef, Proxima has insisted on feeding the crew wheatgrass and nutritious seaweed, ‘earth biscuits’ (mud) and has suggested drinking their own urine. Unfortunately the supplies were thrown overboard by an angry (hungry) captain in a fit of rage, forcing the crew to live on crisps.
She is an expert on everything, having once taken a course on it, and is extremely confident, despite a limited knowledge of space travel. But having read the stars and consulted the astral winds, she knows all will be well.
At least that’s what she tells her 9million Instagram followers.
It's been a tough 18 months or so, and we know that like the Balloonists, children in particular have suffered from the effects of isolation.
We're working with Play Therapist Fleur Alexander to provide resources to support child wellbeing through play. Free resources will soon be available to download from the button below.
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