Set on the remote hill of Raftery's farm, this play tells the tale of Red Raftery and his children, Dinah, Sorrel and Ded. Removed from the civilized world of the valley, Red lives by his own rules, where all natural order is inverted, and humanity is brutalized. Raftery ritually tortures his livestock, leaving the corpses maggoting in the river, passing infection into the valley beyond. Existing in this purgatory is Dinah Raftery, the eldest child, who has sacrificed a future for herself to take care of her siblings, father and grandmother. Her brother, Ded, lives like an animal in the cowshed, trying to erase the all-too-accessible memories of the family's past. Then there is young Sorrel, "the wan perfect thing in this house," soon to be wed to Dara Mood from the valley. Red Raftery has other ideas.
"This is a play that howls to be seen; its courage is matched only by its dramatic power." —Sunday Independent (London). "Outstanding…a strikingly human portrayal of the ultimate taboo." —Evening Standard (London). "…so beautifully done that the almost ludicrous grotesqueness of the Raftery family comes to seem not merely natural but almost matter-of-fact, a curse of nature, like drought, or locusts…" —Washington Post.