Modesty – How much is too much?


Modesty is good in moderation, too much of it and people like me get angry. I can’t write creatively (this is as good as it gets I’m afraid) so when I come across people who are good at it but say ‘Oh, I couldn’t possibly let you read it, it’s not good enough’ I TAKE ISSUE!

Being artistically disadvantaged means I am impressed by anyone who can create something from nothing. My talented friends say to me ‘Go on just try it, write something down and see where it takes you’. Well, I have tried but I end up staring blankly at a piece of paper for hours on end then coming up with a brilliant idea and then realise that it was the plot Jurassic Park. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t possess originality or if I do it emerges in other, non-artistic, ways. Which is fine, I am good at other things, like listening to other people‘s stories or watching plays or making cheesecake.

I understand that writing is very personal and that sharing it feels like standing naked in front a large crowd of people but sharing isn’t an unpleasant experience, it can be quite liberating (so I have heard). On the whole people won’t laugh at you, or make snide comments about you, and if they do who cares? I have found that giving constructive criticism is welcomed and generally encouraged.

I have seen modesty cripple some of my peers and it is really upsetting to watch. I don’t possess this talent and will never know what it is like to watch a piece of work grow from scribbled notes into a novel or a play, but I am sure it must feel incredible.

For those who say ‘I don’t like showing off’ let me remind you that performance is not showing-off it is sharing and if you are talented you should share. As I can’t share any creative thoughts I will share my cheesecake recipe (see below).

A good place to start sharing is our New Writing Nights (now wearing my Assistant Events Manager’s hat, although we don’t actually have hats…yet) the next one is on the 18th July 2013 (Submission deadline 28th June). I love working on these evenings and I am over the moon that two pieces that came through our doors received such good reviews when they were performed as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival. They offer great opportunities for new writers to get feedback on their work and it’s within the safe confines of Blackshaw who will protect you, love you and nurture your talents (OK, that got a bit saccharine, but you get the point).

P.S. If you have read this thinking ‘Hmm…sounds like fun’ please get in touch as we are always looking for new writing, actors, directors, event helpers/organisers and there are positions available within Blackshaw for you to get experience and make your own.

Nick Tatchell, Assistant Events Manager.

*Submit your brilliance here: Blackshaw’s New Writing Night

Tatchell’s Tried and Tasted Cheesecake

Cheese Mixture

  • 250g Mascarpone
  • 250g Ricotta Cheese
  • 200g Cream/Soft Cheese (Philly)
  • 1 sachet of Dream topping (Birds)
  • Yoghurt of your choosing

Biscuit Base

  • 125g Butter
  • 400-500g of Digestive biscuits

(Or depending on the flavour of the topping you may wish to cut or replace the digestive base with:

Chocolate digestive/Ginger nut/Hob Nob etc. Note: all cheesecakes must contain at least 200g of digestive or chocolate digestive biscuit.).


Whatever you like, but usually something that compliments the yoghurt flavouring. Fruit/Chocolate Flake, crushed ginger nut biscuit etc.

  1. Crush the biscuits (in a plastic bag with a rolling pin to reduce mess)
  2. Melt the butter in a bowl over hot water or carefully in the microwave.
  3. Gradually add the butter to the biscuits stirring until mixture can be compacted by the back of the spoon.
  4. Place biscuit mixture in a clip release cake tin and compact evenly to form a base.(Note: The biscuit base should be between 1cm and 1.5cm thick. If it isn’t make more biscuit mixture).
  5. Place biscuit base in fridge for two hours
  6. Mix the Mascarpone, Ricotta, Yoghurt and cream/soft cheese in a bowl.
  7. Make the Dream Topping following instructions on sachet.
  8. Gently fold the Dream Topping into cheese mixture with a metal spoon keeping the mixture light and airy.
  9. Spread evenly the mixture onto the refrigerated biscuit base.
  10. Place the cheesecake back in the fridge for another two hours.
  11. Just before you serve add the topping.

Eat and Enjoy!

Suggestions for Flavours:

  • Rhubarb and Ginger (Rhubarb Yoghurt and Ginger nut biscuit base).
  • Blueberry (use Blueberry yoghurt and crush some blueberries into cheese mixture).
  • Blackcurrant (use Blackcurrant Yoghurt and crush some blackcurrants into the mixture).
  • White Chocolate and Raspbery (Melt 100g of white chocolate and stir into cheese mixture and use raspberry yoghurt or crush some raspberries into the mixture).
  • White Chocolate (Melt 150g white chocolate and stir into cheese mixture, use dark chocolate digestive biscuits for base).
  • Strawberry (use strawberry yoghurt and crush some strawberries into cheese mixture, serve with cream).

Be Adventurous!


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