As the darkness lifts, seven frozen figures are revealed on a dimly lit stage. Their stagnant poses and stoic demeanors create a hazy atmosphere, pulling the audience into what seems to be a memory, or perhaps a dream. The spell-like ambiance is disrupted by a figure moving toward the audience, speaking in a deep Irish accent. This figure is our narrator, Michael, who explains that the scene the audience is about to enter is one of mixed emotions. A note of excitement accompanies the arrival of a radio in the mundane lives of a family of five unmarried sisters. Any uplifting sentiments, however, are shrouded in deep melancholy, as the sisters mourn the sickly return of their brother, Jack, from Africa and the unreliability of Gerry, Michael’s illegitimate father.