Nashe’s birthday party: the tweets


Please follow this link for a full account (helpfully Storified by Kate De Rycker) of the goings-on at Nashe’s 450th birthday party! Feat. dad-dancing, literary criticism, and the consumption of more mustard than is strictly necessary!

And to catch up on all our #Nashe450 blog content, click here!


Nashe’s Shopping List 4: not without mustard!

I might be suffering from the effects of rhenish wine, but I think this pickled herring needs something to make it a little more palatable. Pass the mustard!

The hot taste should help to cover up the strong or even rancid pickled herring, and may go some way to helping with the effects of all that alcohol (anyone else feel like something died in their mouth?). It has been suggested that in the past mustard seeds were chewed during meals to cover the taste of questionable food. The seeds themselves are not flavourful until crushed when myronate and myrasin are released, which creates the hot taste. Does anyone in this drunken company fancy trying it? My bet is on Marlowe.

Continue reading Nashe’s Shopping List 4: not without mustard!

Nashe’s shopping list 3: a surfeit o’ pickled herring


I know, I know. We started imagining what would go into Nashe’s shopping basket, but I think we can safely assume that he wouldn’t be having his 450th birthday party at his place. Thomas Middleton certainly doesn’t think Nashe would have lived in salubrious surroundings. In The Blacke Booke (1604) Nashe’s persona Pierce Penilesse is renting a room in a brothel. The visitor

“stumbled up two payre of stayres in the darke, but at last caught in mine eyes the sullen blaze of a melancholy lampe, that burnt very tragically uppon the narrow Deske o a halfe Bedstead, which descryed all the pittifull Ruines throughout the whole chamber, the bare privities of the stone-walls were hid with two pieces of painted Cloth; but so ragged and tottred, that one might haue seene all neuerthelesse…The Testerne or the shadow over the bed was made of foure Elles of Cobwebs, and a number of small Spinners Ropes hung downe for Curtaines… in this unfortunate Tyring-house lay poore Pierce uppon a Pillow stuffed with horse meat, the sheets smudged so dirtily, as if they had been stolen by night out of Saint Pulcher’s churchyard when the sexton had left a grave open.” (sigs. D1r-v)

Continue reading Nashe’s shopping list 3: a surfeit o’ pickled herring

Choose a conference cocktail!

We’re planning drinks for our upcoming conference (Thomas Nashe and his contemporaries. Newcastle University, 12-14th July 2018), and we want your help! Do pop over to Twitter to vote for the cocktail you’d like to see there… And check out the Call for Papers at the project website!

Continue reading Choose a conference cocktail!

Nashe’s shopping list 2: ale, beer, and cider

What would a 450th birthday party be without a well-stocked drinks table? Thankfully, Nashe refers to a good range of alcoholic beverages in his works…


Yesterday we heard about drinks for the high-rollers among us: the imported wines that (according to Thomas Dekker, at least) Nashe should have been plied with by his patrons. However, if your budget doesn’t quite run to sack and Rhenish, don’t worry: there’s plenty of cheaper booze to be had in Nashe’s works.

Continue reading Nashe’s shopping list 2: ale, beer, and cider

Nashe’s shopping list 1: wine and sugar

What would a 450th birthday party be without a well-stocked drinks table? Thankfully, Nashe refers to a good range of alcoholic beverages in his works…


I have a friend whose extremely generous wine-buff father caters for parties on the basis of one bottle of white wine and one bottle of red per guest – plus beer and spirits. Nashe would have appreciated this kind of largesse a great deal: Thomas Dekker imagines Nashe arriving in the underworld and complaining about ‘dry-fisted Patrons’ because ‘if they had given his Muse that cherishment which shee most worthily deserved, hee had fed to his dying day on fat Capons, burnt sack and Suger, and not so desperately have ventur’de his life, and shortend his dayes by keeping company with pickle herrings’ (Dekker, L1r).

Continue reading Nashe’s shopping list 1: wine and sugar

Announcing… Nashe’s virtual 450th birthday party!

Nashe birthday
Thomas Nashe eating a McDonalds filet o’ fish, for some reason

2017 is a momentous year – 450 years since Thomas Nashe was baptised in St Margaret’s church in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in November 1567!

To mark the occasion, the Thomas Nashe Project would like to invite you to a week of virtual celebrations, from Saturday 18th to Friday 24th November. Keep an eye on this blog, and on our twitter feed – @nashe_thomas – for more, and stock up on pickled herring, ink, and insults to throw at Gabriel Harvey, in preparation…

Edward’s Boys bring ‘Summer’s Last Will’ back to Whitgift’s Old Palace

A dying king summons his old retainers, to take stock of his kingdom and to appoint his successor. He finds, to his horror, that his motley band of servants has betrayed his trust, and squandered his bounty on fripperies. He rages, as their reverence resolves into contempt, and as sickness wracks his body. He realises, too late, that he has ta’en too little care of his kingdom; now he must hand it over to men he despises.

Rory Gopsill as Summer. Photo: Edward’s Boys

Continue reading Edward’s Boys bring ‘Summer’s Last Will’ back to Whitgift’s Old Palace

An Interview with Thomas Kilroy

Thomas Kilroy. Photo: Joe Shaughnessy

Thomas Kilroy is one of Ireland’s leading dramatists and the author of a series of important plays, including Double Cross (1986), which juxtaposes the stories of Brendan Bracken (1901-58), Minister for Information during the Second World War, and William Joyce, ‘Lord Haw Haw’ (1906-46), who served as the principal Nazi propaganda broadcaster, and was executed for treason. Both were Irish. He is also the author of Tea and Sex and Shakespeare (1976), about a struggling writer battling his dysfunctional imagination; The Madame MacAdam Travelling Theatre (1991), a comedy about theatre companies touring Ireland in the Second World War; The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde (1997), and a number of other works. He was play editor at the Abbey Theatre Dublin for much of his distinguished career, as well as professor of English at Galway; was a director of the Field Day Company, which sought to provide imaginative ways of overcoming sectarianism in Northern Ireland, alongside Stephen Rea and Brian Friel, and was director of its touring company. The Abbey Theatre is hosting a week’s development workshop of a new play, The Trials of William Shakespeare, in November, conducted by Max Stafford Clark, and a revival of Double Cross is planned for next year in a joint production of the Abbey and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. As a young student at University College Dublin he wrote an MA thesis on Thomas Nashe, ‘Satirical Elements in the Prose of Thomas Nashe’ (1959) and he was kind enough to answer my questions on the influence he thinks Nashe had on his writing career.

Andrew Hadfield

Continue reading An Interview with Thomas Kilroy