The Child of the Future Play

The idea
 for the script for Child of the Future came from the book “Where On Earth Are We Going?” by Jonathon Porritt ( published in 1990. The book refers to "The Dirty Dozen" of the ecological crisis: air pollution, energy consumption, toxic waste, global warming, ozone depletion, deforestation, food contamination, desertification, world population, water consumption, arms escalation and international debt. The play script makes mention of all of these but the main thrust concentrates on the issues of global warming, ozone depletion, pollution and deforestation.

In the play, Jonathon Porritt's "Dirty Dozen" are personified as soldiers, a shambling bunch of no-hopers like the Dirty Dozen of the 1967 film. They have amusing names such as Private Energy Consumption, Corporal Global Warming and Lance Corporal Toxic Waste. At first they take a delight in ruining the environment. They are berated by a comical Sergeant Major, who hurls abuse at them all for treating the Earth so badly. Just as they abandon all hope for themselves, in walks the Child of the Future, who tells the Sergeant Major what could be done to save the planet.

The songs are catchy and the script presents opportunities for project work on a wide variety of related topics. It gives scope for children to demonstrate their acting ability, and there are opportunities for dancing and for introducing harmony, all of which help to build confidence. It also gives positive hope for the future, a point which is very strongly emphasised in Jonathon Porritt's book.

The entire work is available free of charge from this website.

The full version lasts 1 hour 10 minutes and is intended for stage performance. Stage directions and suggestions for costume and set design are included in the script.

The Cantata version is a shortened script lasting 30 minutes. It can be used if a reduced “concert performance” rather than a staged performance is required. It contains only the songs with a short introductory narrative for each. As with the full version, stage directions and costume suggestions are provided in the script.

The Vocabulary Board is a list of “green words” such as “CHP”, “Salter’s Ducks”, “Renewable energy”, “Managed forests”. These can be enlarged and stuck onto a board as indicated in the script.

The music is available for piano accompaniment or via synthesised audio tracks in MP3. There are nine songs. These can be heard on the “Listen Now” page. The audio tracks are available for download both as “Songs”, featuring children from Little Green Junior School singing against the synthesised accompaniment, and as “Accompaniments”, featuring the synthesised accompaniments alone.

The score files have been provided in a variety of formats so as to be accessible to as many users as possible. The .sib files can be used immediately by users of Sibelius 7 for PC. The .xml files are likely to deliver the most faithful results, but there are features, such as the recognition of swung rhythm, which are not reproduced reliably. Files with .xml and .mxl extensions have been provided without repeats or title pages, both of which cause aberrations with the appearance of text on the score. There may be other features missing when importing the .xml and .mxl files, but these can be edited by users. Reference to the PDF score will provide users with the correct appearance in each case.

The lyrics sung by the children on the original 1991 recording are very slightly different from the lyrics supplied with this website. In The Dirty Dozen "installation" has been changed to "escalation" and in The Polar Bear "icebergs" has been changed to "icecaps".

If any difficulties are experienced by visitors to this website, comments and questions are invited on the Contact page, and will be attended to as soon as possible. Visitors who find the musical useful may wish to make a modest donation to enable the author to maintain the site.