Newcastle academics to present ‘Terrors of the Night’

Globe Theatre in London. Image: Wikipedia, Schlaier.

Terrors of the Night, an unsettling and disturbing exploration of nightmares by writer, poet and satirist Thomas Nashe, will be performed at the Globe Theatre in London next month.

On Saturday, 20th of May, celebrating 450 years of his birth, the candlelit reading will be a culmination of a day’s intellectual investigation into his body of work led by academics from Newcastle and Sussex universities.

Nashe’s was work broke new boundaries in late Elizabethan literature:  he wrote shocking pornographic poetry that was read alongside the work of writers of erotic verse such as Marlowe, John Donne and Richard Barnfield; and a ground-breaking satirical novel, The Unfortunate Traveller.

Project lead Professor Jennifer Richards, from Newcastle University, said:

“Thomas Nashe’s prose is chatty and colloquial. He wrote in the common idiom of his times and in doing so, was highly influential on the dramatists of the 1590s, Shakespeare included, and even on how we write today. I am delighted that we will be able to hear Nashe’s prose for the first time in 400 years.”

Kate De Rycker who is a research associate in Newcastle University’s School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics has adapted the script of Terrors of the Night.

It will be the first time that Nashe’s text has been read aloud by candlelight, Kate said:

“Nashe was a real stylistic innovator, and Terrors of the Night is one of his most experimental works. It’s not just a text about dreams and what they mean; its structure has a dreamlike quality, like an Elizabethan stream of consciousness.

“By adapting this prose-text into a performable script, we’re continuing in the spirit of experimentation that Nashe would have appreciated: what is it like, we’re asking, to hear these words read out loud?”

This event is part of an AHRC research project into Nashe’s work by Professor Richards of Newcastle University and Professor Andrew Hadfield of the University of Sussex.

Tickets for Terrors of the Night are still available to purchase online.

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