This is a style of theatre that has evolved but is most closely associated with the Restoration of the English monarchy and the reopening of theatres in 1660 under King Charles II. It is exemplified by:
- use of prologue, epilogue, asides and witty dialogue
- plots involving lies, deceit and mistaken identity
- use of stock characters, such as the ‘fop’ and/or characters who hide behind masks
- exploration of social class and the pursuit of money
- use of stagecraft, including wigs, excessive make-up and costume.