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Act 1 – Marie’s House – Intro and setting the scene. Characters’ conversations give the background and fill in missing details. Marie’s history is displayed. Deidre lurking outside, apart from the other three – is she going to be a problem later as she breaks down the walls the other put up between the world and each other? In many ways a play about Marie but the plot shows how ALL their lies intertwine (Soap opera)

Marie 36 widow of Michael IRA man killed 3 ½ years ago. Two sons Michael Jnr and Brendan. [Dreamer – will not face truth] Brother Davy in jail.
Cassie 35 married to Joe (in jail). Two children Teresa and Brian. Sharp tongued and sarcastic [Bitter – at men, life and family relationships] Has poor relationship with own mother and children – wants to leave them all.
Act 2 – the Club. Why do they go to the club – an escape from mundane reality of their lives? They spend time recalling the past and add more background. They drink to forget what is outside and avoid reality and confrontation.

Nora. Mid 50s widow of Sean (died of illness later said to be alcoholism) Mother to Cassie, Danny (at home) and Martin (in jail). House-proud and seeks to hide from the outside world by creating a ‘perfect’ world inside her home. [Evader of the truth and the reality of the world outside]
Act 3 – wasteland outside the club. During an eclipse (darkness soon to be made light and things revealed) Three pages of dialogue between Marie and Cassie with nasty comments at end by Deirdre – setting up the climax and dénouement? (‘you can’t keep a secret in this place’) Slashing of fabric also show things that were hidden will be revealed. Cassie reveals wish to leave (run from her mistakes?)

Deidre looks 15 claims to be 16. Believes Michael is her father. Waitress at club, thief and focal point of the lies and cause of the truth becoming known. [Searcher for and the revealer of the truth about herself and the others] Angry and willing to fight for what she wants/needs.

Others: “The BRITS”, unseen kids and male characters, dead or in jail apart from Danny, Nora’s son.

Act 4 – Marie’s house – truth comes out, Cassie confesses to affair with Michael and Marie/ Cassie fight. Deidre asks Marie for confirmation Michael is her father and confirms Cassie’s claims of an affair. Marie refuses to confirm at first then talks as if this is the truth Deirdre is seeking. However not wholly confirmed just probable. Why are they ALL living such a lie? Life’ returns to ‘normality’ but there are hints of changes (good/bad) to come

Setting – Catholic area of West Belfast during ‘The Troubles’. Set in one room in Marie’s house, the local club and on wasteland outside. Takes place in just one day and night.

Other notes:

The Truths
Themes (recurring idea running through the play)
Michael had affair with Cassie and Deidre’s mother, possibly others
Dreams – of escape from reality or to another reality outside Belfast
Deidre is believed to be his daughter
Search for (and avoidance of) the truth whatever that may be
Points to think about
Sisterhood versus the males (useless/lying or Brits) - inequality of Catholic women
If it was set in Birmingham or Glasgow would it be the same? Delete IRA/Brits insert Gangs/Police
Religion especially Catholicism – guilt and submission of women
Are all single mums like this? Do they face similar problems regardless of where they live?
Relationships – between women and men / fathers and daughters

Political – ‘The Troubles’ influences actions and events

Symbols and motifs (repeated themes)

‘BOLD’ – different meanings for different characters. Brave, bright, self assertive, sexually forward, impudent, daring

Birds – freedom/escape nurturing
Moon – lunar is female. Eclipse is symbolic of female revealing truth

Michael’s picture – at first an object of worship based on a lie about a brave “IRA soldier” then the focus of all the anger as he is shown to have had the “lying head taken off him”

Food/drink – man always fed first. A symbol of their control/power over the women

Knife – destroys things (Nora’s fabric etc) but also reveals truths/forces people to pay attention/look ‘a wee bit of the hard truth’

Clothes –

Red dress. Cassie wore it to meet Michael / lent it to Marie who kept it not knowing its history.

White mini dress – Marie wore to get married in. Catholic symbol of virginity and chaste, submissive wife to be.

Kitten knickers – repressed sexuality and wants/needs of lonely widow but who is afraid to try and fulfil them (unless drunk) as she has a local status to maintain (war hero’s widow) and cannot be seen (or be allowed by IRA) to undermine his memory.


Red – passion fire anger blood lust warning

Grey – streets of Belfast – dull boring

White – virginal

Blue – Michael’s car – the colour of Protestants

Peach fabric – hides the outside world from view.