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The Artful Lodger

    by Tom Casling


Comedy Play: 'The Artful Lodger' by Tom Casling

The Artful Lodger is a poignant play which deals with bereavement and loss and as such is a mix of happy and sad events. Humour is often used to lighten the difficult situations. It is loosely based on a real-life situation but the names and details have been changed. As the play develops, we become aware that William and Millicent lost their own son whilst he was at University, the result of an accidental overdose. Millicent convinces herself that the rationale for taking in a student is to support another student of a similar age to their son whilst away from home. William feels that this is Millicent’s way of replacing the son they lost. Millicent believes William is shutting out the reality because it is too painful. Deidre a local counsellor is trying to help the couple deal with their loss, but she is a bit inadequate herself.

As the play develops it become clear that Arthur, the new lodger, has a secret past that he is unable to talk about. The situation is further complicated with the arrival of another student a young pregnant female who appears to be blackmailing William to the value of £10,000. The same £10,000 that Millicent impulsively donates to the Make Poverty History cause because it was a rainy day’.

What is the link between William and this girl who is blackmailing him, Does Arthur know this girl? Why was Arthur expelled form his last University? The play is a comedy tinged with poignancy that has people experiencing a wide range of emotions in a short space of time.


(2m, 4f)

  • William Foot - late 50s, central heating supplier
  • Millicent Foot - late 50s, William’s wife
  • Arthur Fuller - lodger
  • Deirdre Albright - a counsellor
  • Susan Jones - student friend of Arthurs
  • WPC Wright - Police Officer

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