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Arthur and Esther - Full Length Play, Dark Comedy

Arthur and Esther

Ross Howard

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Full Length Play, Dark Comedy

1m, 1f

ISBN: 9780573114618

A play of two worlds. This elemental and affecting two-hander explores love, its loss, and the lives we inherit and impose on others.

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Media | Author | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Dark Comedy

Romantic Comedy

75 Minutes

Time Period - Present Day

Settings Of Play -

A low lit, empty library in the north-west of England and a brightly lit area somewhere in the afterlife.


No intermission


Mild Adult Themes


Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

In the wake of public spending cuts, Arthur wrestles with the methods set out in Montgomery Swank’s "28 Ways to Terminate Your Existence and Questions You May Have", the one book he has salvaged from the closure of his beloved library.

In the wake of her own death, his wife Esther reconciles the ghosts of the past with a hope for the future.

A play of two worlds. This elemental and affecting two-hander explores love, its loss, and the lives we inherit and impose on others.

British playwright Ross Howard is an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow.


"Howard's script sprints along with observation and humor... this is a special script..."- Las Vegas Review Journal

“ ….full of both outrageous dark comedy and deep sincerity….an ultimately compelling night of theatre” - nytheatre.com

"Their story is tragic, but is told with warmth and hope. The language is poetic with hauntingly beautiful rhythms that capture the spectator's imagination with vivid imagery." - Theatre Is Easy

First performed at The Studio at Cherry Lane Theatre, New York.

**A US version of the script is available to perform. **



1m, 1f

ARTHUR HUEY – Long-serving community librarian. Mid 50s.
ESTHER HUEY – His wife in life. Now deceased and eternally youthful. Mid 20s

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Ross Howard

Ross Howard

Ross Howard's work has been seen in London (Theatre 503, Old Vic Tunnels, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Riverside Studios, Menier Gallery, Old Red Lion, Park Theatre, Finborough Theatre, Canal Cafe Theatre, Southwark Playhouse), Cork (Cork Arts Centre), Las Vegas (Onyx Theatre, Las Vegas Little Theatre, Nevada Conservatory Theatre), Minneapolis (Pillsbury House Theatre), San Francisco (The Phoenix ... view full profile

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Rita Jorge 12/10/2014 10:47 AM
There is something deeply moving about Arthur that I haven't quite been able to shake off since reading this play. Arthur has become one of my favorite ever characters in a play - throughout the book, you just get yourself fighting the urge to go look for this man and just sit with him holding his hand for a bit. Still, this is not a depressing tale. It's a contemporary play that deals with timeless struggles - communicating, being seen, feeling purposeless. Cannot recommend it enough.

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