Your Only Man
by Annie Caulfield

BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3

Broadcast: Sunday 31st August 2008 @ 9:45 p.m.

Annie Caulfield's "Your Only Man" is a new, anarchic, surreal comedy about the world of Irish writer Flann O'Brien,

Born in 1911, Brian O'Nolan author of "The Third Policeman", "At Swim Two Birds", "The Poor Mouth" and countless comic newspaper columns wrote under the pseudonyms Myles na Gopaleen and Flann O'Brien. He was academically brilliant and, despite an image as a hard-drinking, dissolute genius, held a respectable post in the Irish civil service for most of his adult life, never quite giving up on his faith in the Catholic Church.

Flann O'Brien regarded himself as a failed writer. "The Third Policeman" wasn't published in his lifetime and his anger at himself and the world was vented in his newspaper columns.

He eventually lost his civil service job in the Fifties, which is when he really started drinking to excess, but still managed to churn out comic journalism until his death in 1966. He made fun of Dublin trendies and religious hypocrisy. A fluent Gaelic speaker, he loathed anything that smacked of the fashionable Celtic revival. He mocked rural stupidity and city snobbery; he hated ignorance and intellectuals with equal venom. Nothing happened in Irish politics that he didn't have a scathing opinion about, but there wasn't much he believed in.

"Your Only Man" focuses on the crushed and alcoholic Brian on the day he's fired from his job, wandering Dublin trying to find the courage to tell his wife what's happened. All the time he's arguing and reminiscing with his alter egos the pub wit and satirist Myles and the raving, frustrated genius Flann. The three of them, and his wife Evelyn, look down from the world beyond to see the folly of his life and at last discover the truth of it all.

With Ardal O'Hanlon [Brian O'Nolan], Dara O'Briain [Myles na gCopaleen], Dermot Crowley [Flann O'Brien], Pauline McLynn [Evelyn O'Nolan, Brian's Wife / Miss Fahy], and Lloyd Hutchinson [Mr. Garvin / The Brother / Eddie Fahy / The Policeman and the Other Male Characters].

Directed by Marilyn Imrie. Produced by Gordon Kennedy 90 min.


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