Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies

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

The Thomas Nashe Project, on which Andrew Hadfield is a co-investigator, is an ambitious project of scholarly editing, contracted by Oxford University Press: 6 volumes of all of Nashe's known writings, as well as dubia, with detailed annotation that takes account of advances in our understanding of the 16th century over the last 30 years; a new glossary that makes use of the e-search tools at our disposal; and extensive analysis and commentary.

In addition to the new edition 'The Thomas Nashe Project' will be holding events from 2017. These will include performances, public readings, and academic conferences. The project will also be making multi-media resources about Nashe available on the project website here.

Find out more about The Thomas Nashe Project here


Upcoming Event:


Thomas Nashe Lenten Stuff Film screening 

17/06/2019 18.00–19.30

Thomas Nashe Lenten Stuff Film screening and discussion of Thomas Nashe Lenten Stuff (2019, dir. Anna Brass (BSR)) with Andrew Hadfield (Sussex), Jennifer Richards (Newcastle) and Kate De Rycker (Newcastle). For more information, click here.



Archived Events:


The Project held an event on the 20th May 2017 at 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 (a.hadfield@sussex.ac.uk) 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)


Andrew Hadfield is Professor of English at the University of Sussex. He is the author of a number of studies of early modern literature, culture and history, including Edmund Spenser: A Life (2012: paperback 2014) and Shakespeare and Republicanism (2005: paperback 2008). He is currently working on a study of lying and is general editor, with Joe Black, Jennifer Richards and Cathy Shrank, of the Complete Works of Thomas Nashe, both forthcoming with OUP. He is vice-chair of the Society for Renaissance Studies, a regular reviewer for The Irish Times and a visiting professor at the University of Granada.


Kate De Rycker is a research associate on the Thomas Nashe Project at Newcastle University. She has a joint PhD in 'Text and Event in Early Modern Europe' from the universities of Porto and Kent, and is the author of essays on the English printing of Pietro Aretino’s works, the translations of Aretino’s ‘Dialogues’. She is currently working on a study of Thomas Nashe and ephemerality, is the assistant editor of the Complete Works of Thomas Nashe, and the contributing editor of Terrors of the Night.


Jennifer Richards is Joseph Cowen Professor of English Literature at Newcastle University. She is the author of several books and essays on Tudor literature, the history of rhetoric and the history of reading. She is currently completing a new study of reading aloud titled ‘Voices and Books in the English Renaissance: A New History of Reading’. She is one of the general editors of the Complete Words of Thomas Nashe and the lead on the ‘The Thomas Nashe Project’.  She is the Editor of Renaissance Studies and the Chair of the English Association’s HE Committee.  


Farah Karim Cooper oversees the Higher Education programme in Globe Education and leads research and scholarship at Shakespeare’s Globe. She is Chair of the Architecture Research Group and led the research into the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the new indoor Jacobean theatre. Her major publications include Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama (Edinburgh University Press, 2006, paperback edn 2012) and The Hand on the Shakespearean Stage: Gesture, Touch and the Spectacle of Dismemberment (Arden/Bloomsbury, 2016).


Matthew Dimmock is Professor of Early Modern Studies at the University of Sussex. His interests lie in cultural interaction, and he is author of New Turkes (2005) and Mythologies of the Prophet Muhammad in Early Modern English Culture (2014). He has edited William Percy’s Mahomet and His Heaven (2006), the two texts of 2 Henry VI (Norton, 2015), and is editor on the Oxford Hakluyt and Nashe projects. His forthcoming monograph is provisionally titled Elizabethan Globalism.


Elspeth Jajdelska studied English at Glasgow University and completed a PhD on seventeenth-century diaries at Leeds University in 1996. She worked as a fund manager before spending a year and a half at the Jagiellonian and Pedagogical Universities in Krakow, Poland, and joined Strathclyde University in 2001. She has completed two books on the history of reading in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Silent Reading and the Birth of the Narrator and Speech, Print and Decorum in Britain, 1600-1750). Both aim to reconnect the history of reading with the history of speech.



Andy Kesson is a Senior Lecturer in Renaissance Literature at the University of Roehampton. He specialises in prose fiction, theatre history and stage representations of sexuality, gender and disability. He is the author of John Lyly and Early Modern Authorship and the co-editor, with Emma Smith, of The Elizabethan Top Ten: Defining Print Popularity in Early Modern England. His new project, Before Shakespeare: The Beginnings of Commercial Theatres (c. 1565-95), asks how playhouses began to be conceived, built and run in Tudor London, and includes staging plays from the period with the Globe, Dolphin’s Back and the theatremaker Emma Frankland. Our work can be consulted at www.beforeshakespeare.com.



Dr Will Tosh is Lecturer and Research Fellow at Globe Education, Shakespeare’s Globe. He leads the ongoing Indoor Performance Practice Project, which examines playing in the candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Educated at Oxford University and Queen Mary University of London, he is the author of Male Friendship and Testimonies of Love in Shakespeare’s England (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and Playing Indoors: Staging Early Modern Drama in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (Bloomsbury, under contract). Prior to his career as an academic, Will trained and worked as an actor.


Jimmy Tucker is an actor, whose theatre includes, 'We Wait in Joyful Hope' at Theatre 503, Battersea, 'One Arm' by Tennessee Williams at The Southwark Playhouse. For Propeller Theatre Company he has played Titania in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and Adriana in 'The Comedy of Errors'. He has spent eight seasons with the RSC in Stratford and London, including 'The Histories', directed by Michael Boyd. He was made an Associate Artist of the RSC in 2012. He returned to the company last autumn to play Alonso in The Tempest, directed by Gregory Doran.


Bart van Es is Professor of English Literature at Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine’s College. Having started as a specialist in Spenser and Renaissance history writing, he has more recently published on drama.  His books include Shakespeare in Company (2013) and Shakespeare’s Comedies: a Very Short Introduction (2016).  As well as being one of the editors for the Oxford Nashe edition he is currently researching child acting companies in Tudor and Stuart England. He also has a book coming out in 2018 with Penguin about a Jewish child who survived World War II in the Netherlands.  It is called The Cut Out Girl.


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