The musical, which was first showcased as a concert in 2004 at Australia's Adelaide Cabaret Festival, is based on the history of manned flight and the Wright Brothers. The production notes for the Adelaide performance described the show as being inspired by "the spirit of invention in us all, the obscure as well as the famous, and that it is just as noble in those who fail as in those who succeed. It is about flying, about the invention of the airplane, about creativity, and about the human need to take risks."
Maltby and Shire are the songwriters whose urbane Off-Broadway revues, Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever, are beloved by fans of the form. Cabaret singers have plucked songs from the shows to present in nightspots around the world. Maltby (lyricist of Miss Saigon) and Shire also collaborated on the Broadway musicals Baby and Big.
The Menier has a track record of staging American musicals. Jonathan Larson's tick, tick . . . Boom! and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years both received their U.K. premiers at the 180-seat Southwark venue. And, the Chocolate Factory's five-time Olivier-winning revival of Sunday in the Park With George will arrive at Broadway's Studio 54 next season.