Carol is preparing for a small party to celebrate the 21st birthday of her severely disabled son, Andy, who is expected to be delivered from his nursing home. She is joined by her parents, Brian and Patricia, and her daughter, Claire.
As it transpires, there are two other unexpected guests. Ian, Carol’s estranged husband, who walked out several years ago and has now set up another home and family, arrives to give Andy a birthday present, much to the disgust of Carol and Claire. Also Claire has invited Mark, a performance poet from Lancashire who is a “friend” of hers, and who is the subject of much curiosity on the part of Carol and Patricia.