chapter  2
Pages 36

Through the promise she extracted from her sisters, Pandora attempted, despite their claiming of individuality through their choice of names, to structure their futures. Each of them would have a role in life as the equivalent of a fairy-tale princess, and a place within a magic future garden which would replicate the security of childhood. At the beginning of the play, however, when the sisters return to the garden to fulfil their vows, only Poppy is still convinced that marriage to the fairy prince will lead to the fulfilment of desire. Even as a child, Pasha had been sceptical of the desirability of the fairy-tale prince in his shiny nutshell, and, though she struggles to remain true to her promise, Pandora now, too, feels certainty slipping away. Each sister is searching for a way of reaffirming, or alternatively reenvisioning, the childhood promise in order to find, through the sense of dedication this will bring, a shape to adult life. In their separate ways, Poppy, Pandora and Pasha have ‘set sail across the world. [In] their…shaky boats…looking for something…A meaning…To be fished up from the bottom of their souls… A creed to live by’ (ibid.: 23). At the play’s opening, they meet on the eve-the edge-of the remaking of the promise, the taking of vows.