Restoration Comedy

Restoration Comedy

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About Restoration Comedy

Restoration comedy tickles the mind with bold images of big wigs and equally big acting. A fascinating time in theatre in which, thanks to the influence of the extravagant Charles II, flourished with high paced, acutely current and sexually explicit plays. Some 400 or so plays were written in this short, but fantastic, epoch of English theatre. The playwrights, men and women of high birth right, were willing to be their own critic, holding nothing sacred—including the very words they scribed.

Performing Restoration Comedy

You have to be an adroit actor to perform restoration comedy. The plays feature immense verse and require a fast pace of speech. The acting and speech is mannered and it requires a disciplined and precise actor to execute. It demands a free and open relationship with the audience in which the actor must remain playful, yet focused. One must relish wit and enjoy the games present in the text. Articulation and technical skills should be well tuned as when you are performing restoration comedy if one appears or speaks in a casual manner the play falls flat.

Best Restoration Comedies

  • The Way of the World

    William Congreve

  • The Rover

    Aphra Behn

  • The Country Wife

    William Wycherley

  • The Man of Mode

    Sir John Etherege

  • All for Love

    John Dryden


If you can read these plays you will have a great understanding of the style and structure of restoration comedies. To buy any of these great plays click the link below…



About the Author


is Stage Milk's core writer. He is a trained, Sydney based actor who writes the majority of our acting information.

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