Samuel Barnett to lead world première of new audio drama ‘Making Massinger: A 17th Century Salisbury Scandal’

Wiltshire Creative has today announced the world première of Making Massinger: A 17th Century Salisbury Scandal, an elegant and passionate new revenge tragedy written by Simon Butteriss and co-directed by Butteriss and Wiltshire Creative Artistic Director Gareth Machin.

This new audio play is performed by Samuel Barnett (Phillip Massinger), Edward Bennett (William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke), Hubert Burton (John Fletcher), Julia Hills (Katherine Mompesson), Jane How (Mary, Dowager Countess of Pembroke), Nina Wadia (Mistress Froth).

Recorded on the main stage of Salisbury Playhouse, Making Massinger is free to listen to and available now at www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/online/making-massinger/ until 31 August 2021.


In a world where heresy is certain death and art relies on aristocratic whim, blackmail, political intrigue and sexual assault thrive. 

In 17th century Salisbury, the young playwright Philip Massinger, uncovering the horrible truth about his father’s death, finds that both the young Earl of Pembroke and the voracious dowager Countess want much more than plays in return for their patronage.

Fleeing to London to wreak revenge with his writing, Massinger plunges into a hurly-burly where lovers and friends seem to be every bit as treacherous as enemies. Philip Massinger’s own plays precariously balanced elegant comedy with revenge tragedy. Making Massinger imagines that his life did, too.


Making Massinger joins the dots between the very few historical facts available about the life of Salisbury-born playwright Philip Massinger; a playwright whose output, alone and in collaboration, matched or exceeded that of his contemporary William Shakespeare, but whose name has been virtually forgotten. Written in the style of a Massinger revenge tragicomedy, Making Massinger sets out to discover the truth behind the playwright’s descent into relative obscurity.

Making Massinger was commissioned by Wiltshire Creative (an organisation that brings together the energy and ambition of Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Salisbury Playhouse) and adapted for audio-transmission by Simon Butteriss.

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