the works of Robert Calvert / annex


Research biologist, long-time partner of Peter. An intelligent, willful opportunist with a strong proclivity for dissecting anything that moves. Desires public acclaim at any cost. lt is she who convinces Peter that they should genetically engineer their own superhuman child.

Research biologist specializing in genetic engineering. Highly intelligent, with a tendency to become obsessed with his work. In love with Virginia. He is easily swayed by her when she suggests the superbaby project because he is excited by the prospect of glamour and renown.

An endearing, not-too-bright woman wbo wants nothing more than to be a loyal, supportive wife and a loving mother.
As she and her husband are childless, they are receiving in vitro fertilization treatment at the same clinic where Peter and Virginia are conducting their experiment.

Carol's husband. A window-cleaner from Penge, South London. An uneducated, simple soul who tries to be the knowledgeable head of the household.

The genetic offspring of Peter and Virginia, raised by Carol and Brian. Has all the intellectual attributes of a superbuman being. To Brian and Carol's dismay, he has inherited Peter's obsessiveness and Virginia's proclivity for dissection.

Peter Virgil:
Genetic offspring of Brian and Carol, raised (ie, neglected) by Peter and Virginia. An average, likeable, somewhat dimwitted lad whose fondest desires are to live in a normal home and to become a pop singer.

All six roles are played by three actors:
Virginia/Carol, Peter/Brian and Colin/Peter Virgil

A snapshot from the rehearsals for the premiere-staging of TTBOM - showing Robert Calvert in discussion with his two leading actors... and it seems as if the director Paul Jerricho is in for a little rest...  (© Adrian Pope; 1986)

A brief summary:
Virginia and Peter - the intelligent couple in this comedy-tale of confused genetic pools, are highly ambitous biologists, who eventually decide to have a child - which, true to their profession means: to genetically engineer their own superhuman baby for the public acclaim, the envy of their scientific peers and - ultimately - the Nobel-golden glory laurels (and... to finally appear on the Sunday Times Color Sup).

However, as a result of a series of mishaps, the superhuman-embryo is implanted into Carol, a working-class woman from Penge (a blue-collar district in South London). Unaware of the mix-up, Carol and her equally dumbwitted husband Brian, raise the child as their own. Fourteen years elapse before the whereabouts of the superhuman child are uncovered by Virginia and Peter. In those years Peter and Virginia's life got clouded by the (assumed) rather depressive outcome of their experiment - namely Peter Virgil, who's showing absolutely none of the eagerly expected superchild characteristics.

  Brian and Carol however ascended from the blue-collar-low-key -lifestyle to considerable wealth - all due to several astonishing inventions like the 'Electro Synchnomatic Chamois - a gadget that simultaneously cleans the inside and outside of double-glazing windows" - just one of the casual by-products of their super-intelligent-child Colin, who's after far more aspiring inventions...

After the mix-up is uncovered by Peter and Virginia, they go to Carol and Brian's home, where they are luring their superhuman kid away - promising the ambitious 14 year old Colin a fellowship and all the time he wants to indulge in his greatest passion: dissecting life-foms of all sorts.... - and at the same time they try to get rid of their cuckoo's child Peter Virgil by shoving him back to where he genetically belongs: an average domestic life - i.e. the home of Carol and Brian.

Sounds like a double-happy-helix-end is in sight? Well, unfortunately, the reunions don't turn out as they are expecting...

HERE you can see the original poster for the premie ot TTBOM

On the following pages you can read two extensive excerpts from the new version of the script - a posthumous collaboration / rewrite of the original Calvert play by the New York based actor/author Isidore Elias

Test Tube Baby of Mine -
Excerpt I

Test Tube Baby of Mine -
Excerpt II

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