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Restoration Period 1660 to 1700 The Restoration of the English monarchy Charles II in 1660 led to the opening of theatres again, and the great innovation was the introduction of actresses. Talented, confident, and flamboyant ladies replaced the Elizabethan boy actors. Records indicate that “splendidly clothed” persons lent costumes, and wardrobe keepers aided players in selecting from available stock.
Political Background * 1629 -1640: Charles I rules without Parliament * 1642: Civil War begins * 1649: King Charles beheaded * 1642 - 1660: The Commonwealth * 1660 - 1685: Reign of Charles II * 1688: William and Mary take throne
Fontage WOMEN Mantua Dress tied in Bustle Style Robing Long Train Puffed out sleeves bound with ribbon and loops
Peruke or Periwig MEN Justaucorps coat Robing Ribbon looped Garter Puffed out sleeves bound with ribbon and loops Beauty Spot Walking Stick Petticoat Breeches Shoes with turnback tongue and high heels
Some British Playwrights of the Restoration Period * William Wycherly (1640-1716) * The Country Wife * William Congreve (1670-1729) * The Way of the World * Mrs Aphra Behn (1640-1689) * The Rover
Playscript selected from the Restoration Period * William Congreve (1670-1729) * The Way of the World (Act 1)
Influences of the Period In 1660 the Stuart dynasty was restored to the throne of England. Charles II, the king, had been in France during the greater part of the Protectorate, together with many of the royalist party, all of whom were familiar with Paris and its fashions. Thus it was natural, upon the return of the court, that French influence should be felt, particularly in the theatres. In August, 1660, Charles issued patents for two companies of players, and performances immediately began. Certain writers, in the field before the civil war, survived the period of theatrical eclipse, and now had their chance.