Restoration plays

We regularly stage Restoration dramas and comedies, which were written from around 1660 to 1710.

The Restoration period refers to the time following the restoration of the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies under King Charles II in 1660. While the exact dates differ depending on context, for Restoration drama it is often seen as continuing through until 1710, during the reign of Queen Anne.

It was an important time for drama, as the theatres were reopened in 1660 after being closed under the Puritans for 18 years. This also marked the start of women performing on the English stage. The Restoration plays that followed often rebelled against the puritanical standards, featuring lavish design and risqué humour.

Famous comedies from the era include William Wycherley's The Country Wife (1675), Aphra Behn's The Rover (1677) and George Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer (1706). Well-known Restoration tragedies include Roger Boyle's The Black Prince (1667) and Thomas Otway's Venice Preserv'd (1682).

The Rover 2016 production image
The Rover (2016).
Ellie Kurttz © RSC Browse and license our images

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