The show opens with a grim welcome from Officer Lockstock, the narrator, assisted by the street urchin Little Sally. ("Too Much Exposition"). According to Lockstock, a twenty-year drought has caused a terrible water shortage, making private toilets unthinkable. All restroom activities are done in public toilets controlled by a megacorporation called "Urine Good Company" (or UGC). To control water consumption, people have to pay to use the amenities. There are harsh laws ensuring that people pay to pee, and if they are broken, the offender is sent to a penal colony called "Urinetown", to where people are sent but never return.