Restoration Drama

Restoration Drama commonly refers to plays performed in England in the late 17th century. Charles II restored the English throne in 1660, reigning until his death in 1685. Theatre historians usually extend the Restoration period to about 1700 or 1710. Works during this period were largely satirical (often bawdy) comedy of manners plays, mocking the social customs of the upper class. Well known works of the period include William Wycherley’s The Country Wife (1675) and William Congreve’s The Way of the World (1700). – Justin Cash

Royal Shakespeare Company

Visual resources on Restoration drama including an image gallery of playwrights and past Royal Shakespeare Company productions.

British Library

Excellent article “An Introduction to Restoration Comedy” which should appeal to visual learners. Historical facts are interspersed with relevant images from the British Library collection.

Excellent guide to English Restoration theatre including historical background, French influences, playyrights, actors and actresses.

The Guardian

Article exploring the never-ending appeal of Restoration comedies to theatre audiences of all eras.


Useful article about Puritan England while theatres were officially closed, followed by the Restoration period, including the role of women in English Restoration theatre (such as acting for the first time).


Useful entry covering numerous aspects of Restoration comedy including well known theatre companies, esteemed actors and important works of the period.

Drama Online

Informative summary of the Restoration period from the Methuen Drama Dictionary of the Theatre.

Interesting Literature

Useful summary of ten of the best Restoration plays.


Interesting article about the types of characters and acting skills required to perform in a Restoration comedy.

Australian Catholic University

Useful summary for students of the acting requirements and typical conventions of Restoration dramas.