The stage is draped over with grey, filmy material. The effect is abstract and dreamy, the furniture under the drapery making unidentifiable but provocative shapes. Laughter off. MARY runs on, followed by her halfisister FANNY and her stepsister CLAIRE. They enter exuberantly but quickly assume a solemn demeanour. There is a quality of ceremony to their speech and movements as MARY draws them into her fantasy.
MARY It's a descent, that's how I think of it, a tunnelling down to that sweet treasure dome. I find nourishment there. No matter what misfortune may strike, there will be consolation and strength, I'm sure of that. My mother is the key—my way down.
MARY The torch of self-knowledge by which I rout my demons.
MARY My phantasmagoria.
CLAIRE She said, “I love man as my fellow, but his sceptre does not extend to me.”
Notes are on pp. 292–93.