it concerns the lives of three women whose husbands are either dead or in prison ("the Kesh") for their political activities. Matriarch Nora (Carole Patullo) has been living with the war and its effects on daily life for some time. She is hoping for nothing much more grand out of life than a remnant piece of material with which to decorate her front room. Her daughter Cassie (Amanda Douge), whose good-for-nothing husband has been "lifted" by the British, desperately wants to get out of Belfast, even if it means leaving her children. Marie (Fiona Todd) gets on with bringing up her children, clinging to the memory of her beloved husband Michael. She is the soft one, the one who keeps crust crumbs to feed birds, but who also steadfastly refuses to succumb to despair.
The Troubles are the constant background of the play. They are the reason for the missing men, the regular bombings and subsequent roadblocks, even for the trampling of a small patch of garden by soldiers. But in an important sense they are peripheral to the lives of the women, who have become accustomed to the practical difficulties of living in a war zone, even joking about pursuits of fugitives through their lounge rooms. For the most part they are occupied by the minutiae of survival, caring for children, organising a night at the club, coping.
The action builds with the introduction of the strange and uncommunicative Deirdre (Cassandra Magrath) whose presence is somehow connected with the women's past.