Set in Baldoyle, Co. Dublin on Christmas Eve. McPherson's Olivier Award Winning play centres on James “Sharky” Harkin, an alcoholic who has recently returned to live with his blind, aging brother, Richard. As Sharky attempts to stay off the drink, he has to contend with the hard-drinking, querulous Richard and his own haunted conscience. As the day unfolds they prepare for Christmas by buying in festive food and large quantities of alcohol, in the expectation of friends calling. By evening they are playing poker with Ivan, Nicky and “Mr Lockhart” who has arrived with Nicky and is apparently unknown to the rest. What most of the men do not realise, however, is that Lockhart is not quite the urbane gentleman he appears to be and winning money at poker is secondary to his real reason for being there – the stakes are far higher than mere money!