Loading... Please wait...


When The Dark Sea Cries

    by Bev Clark


Drama Play Script: 'When The Dark Sea Cries' by Bev Clark

The poet Ted Hughes wrote: The sea cries with its meaningless voice treating alike its dead and its living” which is the starting point for this play.

Set in the 1850s on the North Somerset coast the fictitious village of Sealand experiences a tragedy. Eight women between fifteen and seventy wait for their menfolk to return from a treacherous sea. They have launched their fishing boats to help a ship in distress.  The storm grows worse and the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters face a night of terrible consequences.

Into their harsh existence a travelling doctor arrives, an Irishman living and working in Bristol thrown off his horse and now wandering in the night finds his way to the village.  The women befriend him and old Susan the spinster believes his arrival is providence.

During the long night Marianne confides a terrible secret to her younger sister Kate. Dr Trelawney and the strong-minded Kate know that something has passed between them but both sisters are married to men out on the raging seas. Young Tilly is haunted by dreams, for heartache and misery surrounds these women. The sea churns up a miracle when Kate’s young son is found. As morning breaks it is clear all the families will be touched by grief but for some new horizons await. 

A poetic, powerful period drama about Life and death which offers a large female cast of all ages plus one male and one young boy. A one-act play that would be suitable for drama festivals, school or youth productions or amateur theatre groups. Dramatic and dark with a touch of romance and optimism in its final moments.


55 mins approx


(1m, 1jnr-m, 8f)

  • Ma Bess Tavener - 60’s, widow 
  • Marianne - late 30’s, Bess’s elder daughter, married to Harry Tavener
  • Kate - mid 30’s, Bess’s younger daughter, married to Francis Martyn, has three sons
  • Emily Tavener - late 40’s, married to Jack - skipper on ‘The Lucy May
  • Bryony Crowther - early 20’s, married to Simon - crew on the ‘Eleanora’
  • Lizzie Hardwick - 15, daughter of George Hardwick - a widower
  • Tilly Crowther - 20, unmarried daughter of Lionel Crowther - skipper of the ‘Eleanora’
  • Old Susan Martyn - 70’s, spinster  
  • Dr Richard Trelawney - early 40’s, a traveller 
  • Young John Martyn - about 15

  • Perusal Script (When The Dark Sea Cries)
    £0.00 Perusal Script (When The Dark Sea Cries)
    In advance of the formal publication, we offer you an advance, pre-publication version, of the script. It is provided in full, as originally received from the playwright, but without having been proof read and with no...
  • Royalty Quotation Form (1A+)
    Royalty Quotation Form (1A+)
    The rights to perform and record for all the titles in our catalogue are managed by Stagescripts Ltd. You should not assume that a licence to perform will always be granted. Please request a quotation at the earliest...