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

Tinderbox Theatre Company

John Thorp

How the rallying speech, "I want to be King" morphs into John Thorp's incongruous sound monologue.


‘I Want to be King’

"I constructed my short piece around recordings of Ubu’s rally speech, most of which were taken at an early rehearsal. I was struck by the juxtaposition of the character’s conviction and determination against the seemingly absurd subject matters such as ‘Building new display fridges’ and ‘Make[ing] our pastries great again’."

"Through lots of editing I was somewhat able to synchronise multiple takes of the tirade, showcasing the range of different intensities, timbres, intonations and rhythmic phrasings impulsively chosen by the actor during each performance resulting in a crowded, intimidating and unfamiliar atmosphere. I found that the variations in the distinct, spontaneous recitals, when roughly synchronised in the time domain, created an interesting effect of extemporaneous, unpredictable yet rehearsed unison."

"Through the use of ambisonic recording and processing technology, the sonic space was arranged as if the listener is surrounded by several iterations of the character, Ubu, all chanting their incongruous monologue."


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 



Contact Us

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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