Thomas Nashe: Prose, Drama, and the Oral Culture of Early Modern London

Event Date: 
20 May 2017

An AHRC funded event jointly organised by The Thomas Nashe Project and Shakespeare’s Globe.



This symposium, held in the Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, will explore the work of Thomas Nashe (1567-c.1600), a major polemicist, prose stylist, dramatist and early novelist, whose writing shaped the culture of early modern literature in the age of Shakespeare. The invited speakers, academics and practising actors, will discuss the oral culture of early modern London; Nashe’s influence on drama; Nashe and acting styles; and the visual nature of Nashe’s work. It will provide as an introduction to ‘The Thomas Nashe Project’ and our ongoing work on a new Oxford Edition of Nashe’s writings.


The symposium and drinks reception (10am – 6pm) are free and open to the general public (but please sign up since places are limited). In the evening the Globe is hosting a ‘Read Not Dead’ reading of The Terrors of the Night in The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (tickets: £20 and £10). This event will be a staged reading of Thomas Nashe’s unsettling and disturbing exploration of night terrors by candlelight in The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Nashe speaks in a variety of voices as his speaker tries to understand whether humans are surrounded by demons, witches and ghosts, or whether these are real terrors unleashed by the devil in his futile struggle with God. It will be the first time that Nashe’s extraordinary text, which had a major influence on the development of prose and drama in the age of Shakespeare, has been read aloud by candlelight.


The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is necessary. Please contact Prof. Andrew Hadfield, University of Sussex ( for further details. Tickets for the ‘Read Not Dead’ event will be available on the Globe website from Jan. 2017.



Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre.


10-11 - Registration

11-12 – Welcome and an introduction to the Nashe project

- Andrew Hadfield (Sussex) and Jennifer Richards (Newcastle).

12-1 – Nashe, Prose and Oral Culture

- Kate De Rycker (Newcastle) and Elspeth Jajdelska (Strathclyde).


1-2 – lunch (own arrangements)


2-2.45 – Nashe Read Aloud

- Andy Kesson (Roehampton) and Jimmy Tucker (Propellor/RSC)

2.45-3.45 – Nashe and Drama

- Bart Van Es (Oxford) and Matthew Dimmock (Sussex)


3.30-4 – coffee break.


4-4.45 – Nashe and Visual Drama

- Farah Karim Cooper and Will Tosh (joint paper) (Shakespeare’s Globe)

4.45 – closing remarks:

            - Andrew Hadfield and Jennifer Richards



Sam Wanamaker Playhouse


7 – 8.30pm: ‘Read Not Dead’ reading of Terrors of the Night introduced by Dr Kate De Rycker (Newcastle University)