“Baby Off The Shelf” Free Musical to download and perform – Storyline
The story of ‘Baby off The Shelf’ begins in the year 2050 when the effects of global warming and nuclear disaster have had a significant impact on the world’s resources. Northern hemisphere states have formed a federation and see strict population control as the answer to their problems. The proceedings are reported by two television journalists – Maxwell Murdock and Genevieve Lefevre.
The development of ‘designer baby technology’ has encouraged the Federation’s Government to create the new generation of babies outside the womb. A competition is held to collect the most desirable genes for a gene bank, culminating in a gene search TV show. People are told that once the gene bank is established normal procreation methods will be abolished. The technology is put in place to produce people of a prescribed physical appearance and personality type who will live for a fixed number of years. The Federation assumes total control over all aspects of fertility in order to make best use of its resources.
A protestor, named Jake, interrupts the gene search show, but the Fertility Control Programme goes ahead. The Federation’s top military commander, General William Reynolds, interviews Jake but also has personal reservations about the programme. Together with other leading armed services personnel, the General believes that the security of the Federation could be put at risk if sinister elements chose to destroy the gene bank. They devise a plan to safeguard the Federation’s future by means of ‘ice science’. This has been developed to the point where animals which have been frozen have already been brought back to life.. They search the internet for young, single people with no families and encourage them to take part in a social experiment with promises of generous remuneration. When the participants meet for the first time, they are told that they will be forced to enter a time locked capsule and be frozen for 200 years.
Unknown to the General, his spendthrift daughter Julia, pretends along with others to have no family, in order to sign up for the social experiment. She does this in an attempt to earn some extra cash. Max and Genevieve, working under cover, a married couple and Jake the protestor from the gene search TV show are also there under false pretences. Even though Julia’s identity is revealed prior to the freezing taking place, she chooses to remain with the group on a point of principle. The 1st Act ends with the freezing of the volunteers and the General discovering that his daughter is one of them when it is too late to halt proceedings.
The 2nd Act begins with the People of the Past coming back to life after being frozen for 200 years. The People of the New Era all look the same and have calm, pleasant personas. They keep their distance from the People of the Past because they have an obsession about contracting viruses which might threaten their existence. The People of the Past are confined to an area that has become a museum housing a human zoo.
There is a group in the museum complex, known as the Rejuves, who were born just before the Fertility Control Programme became compulsory. They are very old but surgery and medicines have kept them going. Their search for eternal youth is reflected in their outlandish appearance. The People of the Past become good friends with the Rejuves and after tricking the People of the New Era into thinking that they may have a virus they are taken to meet the Freewheelers, who are people who have become disabled as a result of accidents or genetic disorders.
After meeting the Freewheelers the People of the Past have to undergo medical checks which reveal that a female member of the group called Amanda has abnormalities in the chemical composition of her body. She is diagnosed by Jake to be pregnant and that becomes headline news as the first natural birth in 200 years is anticipated. Jake also finds himself being drawn closer to Julia as events unfold.
The birth becomes a great television spectacle hosted by Maxwell and Genevieve. Great rejoicing at the birth of a baby girl soon turns to anguish when it is announced that she will be taken away from her parents, Mike and Amanda, to be brought up like the children of the Fertility Control Programme.
Devastated, the People of the Past seek the help of the Rejuves and the Freewheelers who are able to hide the baby and her parents for a short while. To complicate matters a romantic relationship has developed between Jason, a member of the group, and T147 2225, a New Era girl. The People of the Past then come up with a plan to sabotage the gene bank, with the aim of making the People of the New Era dependant on them for replacement genes, so increasing their powers of persuasion.
With the aid of the Rejuves, they manage to destroy the gene bank without being detected and as a consequence it is agreed that the People of the Past should be encouraged to produce more babies in the natural way to widen the gene pool. Babies produced by the People of the Past are allowed to be brought up by their own parents including the daughter of Mike and Amanda.
Jake and Julia want to be part of procreation process and Julia is delighted when Jake proposes marriage. Just as the wedding begins the General is introduced by Maxwell and Genevieve as a special guest who has also made use of the ice science technology to return from the past. All the characters in the musical appear as wedding guests in the final scene.