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The Senator George J.Mitchell Institute
for Global Peace, Security and Justice

Tinderbox Theatre Company

Brian McCarley

Brian McCarley explains how his sound interpretation piece focused on a quickening pace and rhythm - inspired by militant marching and galloping horses.


"After watching and recording both the rehearsal and performance of Ubu the King, I particularly enjoyed the creativeness of the militant/army scenes. A scene that stood out to me was when the cast started to slowly tap the tops of the metal table rhythmically mimicking the sound of horse’s trotting, while also imitating the noise a horse would make. The cast gradually quickened the pace until it sounded like a whole group of horses galloping. I wanted to reflect this kind of idea into my 2-minute piece. I started with some “Ubu” chanting to create a crowd scene calling out/ chanting for their king. The chants are also layered with some feet stomping to help portray a marching effect.The choir-ish build up reminded me of fan fair trumpets as well. Ubu then arrives to give his kingly speech to the crowd, this is then followed by applause and the Ubu chants present at the very beginning of the piece. I then wanted to transition from this positive atmosphere into a more sinister one. A line from the play “kill the king” is used to help make this transition. This is when I introduce the pots and pan noises."

"A lot of the pots and pan noises used throughout the play were great for creating gunshot or explosive type noises which is what I wanted to use to represent and illustrate the militant theme. The gunshot sounds carry on throughout the second half of the piece. The rhythmic horse hooves are then introduced to build tension and to gradually escalate the piece. The ‘horse hooves’ are quite chaotic compared to the structured pace of the marching sounds at the beginning of the piece. The piece concludes with the final buildup of the galloping horses’ gunshots and explosions to create a climatic finish."

Credits for Ubu the King

Creator Patrick J O'Reilly and Ensemble

Producer Jen Shepherd

Music Katie Richardson

Design Ciaran Bagnall 

Cast Claire Connor, Jo Donnelly, Tony Flynn, Julie Lewis and Rhodri Lewis

Image credits: Photos by Ciaran Bagnall 


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The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
Queen's University Belfast
18-19 University Square
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)208 9097 3413 / 3740

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