Restoration Theatre

(2658 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The theatre audience of the 1660s has been thought of as a narrow coterie of courtiers and their hangers-on, venal, vicious and vain. More recent research has shown that this was not so. There is evidence that people of different classes and professions were interested in the plays given, from the king and his brother, who were patrons of the two companies and actively encouraged new plays; to their courtiers who wrote plays as amateurs; to citizens like Pepys (1633-1703), who bought copies of the plays that he had seen in order to read them; to apprentices who passed their rare time off at the theatres. Indeed, Pepys writes of his wife attending the theatre not only with him, but on her own with women friends, and also of taking Lord …

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Lewcock, Dawn. "Restoration Theatre". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2007
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]