The Sea


Writers: Edward Bond


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Dark Comedy
Multiple Settings
Time & Place
east anglia, united kingdom, 1907
Cast Size
Ideal for
Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes

Includes adult, mature adult, elderly, young adult characters


The Sea depicts a small coastal village on the east coast of England, sharply divided between ruthless order and rampant chaos. After a beloved resident of the village drowns in a storm at sea, the differing reactions of the villagers reveal a community torn apart by disputes and disorder. Willy Carson, the survivor of the tragic boating accident, stays in the village to grieve for his friend and finds himself entrapped within a hierarchical community presided over by the domineering Mrs. Rafi. Mrs. Rafi lives in the big house and represents order and respectability, surrounding herself with the twittering ladies of the village. Leading the official grieving, she finds herself at odds with the local draper, Hatch, who is continuously rebuffed and put out of pocket by the grande dame. Mad as a box of frogs, Hatch believes that aliens have infiltrated the village from another planet. He identifies Willy Carson’s sudden appearance in the village as proof of the aliens’ arrival and establishes a taskforce to spy on Willy and the wise village drunk, Evens. In a mad rage, Hatch feverishly attacks the washed up corpse of the drowned man with a knife, mistakenly believing it to be Willy sleeping on the beach. In the middle of this madness, Willy encounters Rose Jones, the fiancee of his dead companion. United in their grief, the couple realize that their only hope of moving forwards is to escape from this community and establish a life elsewhere. As Evens tells Willy to go away and find his answers some place else, Willy and Rose prepare to board their train and leave the village far behind.

Lead Characters

The Sea guide sections