The Flattering Word

Written by George Kelly
Directed by Aisling Uí Laoire
Performed in: dlr Mill Theatre Studio Studio and at the Skerries, Glenealy and Bray One-Act Drama Festivals between October 2018 and January 2019.

The Flattering Word
Brendan O'Sullivan featured on the poster for 'The Flattering Word'.


'The Flattering Word' by George Kelly was presented on the silver screen in 1929, starring Harrison Ford in the role of Eugene Tesh. That was not an appearance by an impossibly-young 'Indiana Jones', star of the 1980s, but the silent screen leading man, who was in films from 1915 and left the business in 1932 when the arrival of sound introduced a new layer of demands for film stars.

The cast of this Balally Players production was undaunted by such challenges and, under the direction of Aisling Uí Laoire, extracted much fun and laughter from the play.

The Giant KillersDirector Aisling Uí Laoire presented the play for Balally Players in the dlr Mill Theatre Studio and at three festivals in late 2018 and early 2019.

The 'Flattering Word' is a one-act comedy written by George Kelly in the 1920s. It tells the story of a celebrated actor, Eugene Tesh, who pays an unexpected visit to an old friend, Mary Rigley. During the course of his visit, he uses his charm to eradicate the other characters' prejudice against theatre, convincing them that they in fact have an unrealised talent for the stage. What ensues are some very funny moments of attempting to realise one’s secret desire to make the big time!

The story is based around the fact that Tesh would very much like Mary, who is married to a rather pompous pastor, to see his performance in a play. However, Mary is convinced the pastor's prejudice against theatre will prevent that.

Tesh knows that if you tell any adult or child they should be on the stage, you will melt their prejudices with ease. This fiendish master of manipulation succeeds, but he is forced to sit through an excruciating performance by one of the local hopefuls. Therein lies the fun of this piece. For the audience of 'The Flattering Word', the power of flattery on a narrow and prejudiced mind offers an abundance of possibilities for comedy.


Cast for 'The Flattering Word'
Mary Rigley
Rev Loring Rigley
Mrs Zooker
Eugene Tesh
Máirín O’Sullivan
Brendan Dunne
Doris Cullen
Brendan O’Sullivan
Aisling Ní Fhoghlú
Production Team for 'The Flattering Word'
Stage Managers
Costume Design
Aisling Uí Laoire
Aoife Braiden, Una Twford
Aoife Braiden, Oran O'Rua
Aisling Uí Laoire
Dympna Murray
Patrick Hand, Oran O'Rua
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The play achieved the following results at the three one-act drama festivals at which it was performed.

Results at Skerries One-Act Festival, performed 1 November, 2018

  • Best Actress (Doris Cullen)
  • Best Costume Design (Dympna Murray)
  • Second Place

Results at Wicklow Federation Drama Festival, Glenealy, performed 20th January, 2019

  • Runner Up Best Actress (Máirín O’Sullivan)
  • Merit Acting Award (Doris Cullen)

Nominations for Best Director, Best Set, Best Costume Design and Best Actor

Results at Bray One-Act Drama Festival, performed 23rd January, 2019

  • Best Supporting Actress (Doris Cullen)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Brendan Dunne)
  • Merit Award for Costume Design (Dympna Murray)

Nominations for Best Comedy, Best Actor and Most Promising Young Actor

The cast of 'The Flattering Word'
The cast and director of 'The Flattering Word': Aisling Ní Fhoghlú, Brendan O'Sullivan, Aisling Uí Laoire (director), Doris Cullen, Brendan Dunne and Máirín O'Sullivan


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