Detailed Summary The Sea by Edward Bond Scene I & II
The play opens with a tumultuous sea; it's roaring and shouting of Willy crying: "help. Colin...our boat turned over. I can't find him". A drunken man, Evens, appears while singing an apparently meaningless song. Willy asks him for help but he does not except for exchange of a few meaningless sentences. There comes Hatch with a torch. Willy tries to seek help from him but again useless. Hatch, the draper, threatens him considering Willy an enemy.
The scene takes place in the shop of Hatch, the draper. Mrs. Rafi and Mrs. Tilehouse are present in his shop. Mrs. Rafi wants velvet curtains in blue colour while Hatch, a clever draper, is trying to sell her of things that he has but she is quite rude and careless of what Hatch offers her. He even offers her Indian cloth but she plainly refuses: "I'm not interested in this new-fangled craze to support the trading efforts of the Empire by getting the east coast into native dress". She looks at the catalogue and inquires how long it would take if she places an order for blue. Hatch replies that it would take about two weeks. She places an order of 162 yards in three yards pieces. Mrs. Rafi keeps the sample with her as an "evidence" of what order she placed.
Later she almost orders Hatch to show her the gloves available with him. She tries several gloves and finally likes "style" of a pair. Willy enters the shop and Mrs. Rafi greets him. She condoles the death of Colin: "This is a terrible tragedy. Colin was engaged to my niece". Mrs. Tilehouse also expresses her feeling at the demise of Colin. Mrs. Rafi offers him to reside at her house till he is in the town. She wishes to know the details of the accident. He tells her that it was due to the storm which turned the boat turtle. While Mrs. Tilehouse is showing her concern for Willy, Mrs. Rafi drops the gloves on the counter shouting that "umbrella handle lodges itself in the cuff".
Then Mrs. Rafi asks him to come along with Evens because her pony cannot manager three people. Before leaving Mrs. Tilehouse inquires Hatch: "who was on coast guard duty last night?" She reminds Hatch that the town pays him "ten shillings a year to watch". Hatch seems a bit confused about placing the order to the vendor for 162 yards because "last time she ordered cushions, she wouldn't even look at them". When Mrs. Rafi and Tilehouse are gone, Carter and Thompson come out because they had hidden themselves. They discuss the drowning of Colin.
Hatch seems full of certain hallucinations because he considers it was some sort of devil that drowned the ship and not the storm: "They come from space. Beyond our world. Their world's threatened by disaster." He believes that the aliens come to take control of this town because: "they know there's no leadership, no authority, no discipline in this town". He reveals the reason why he did not help Colin: "All these ships in distress are really secret landings from space. We won't go out to help them, we'll go and drive them off. Run them down". Foolish Hatch is trying to save the town though they "might lose a few innocent men".