In comedy, during the first part of the period, stand Sir George Etherege
and William Wycherley.
Literary criticism and literary history have little use for Georgian drama beyond Goldsmith and Sheridan, and except for these two, the canon runs from George Etherege
, William Wycherely, and William Congreve straight to Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.
Once in London, he meets up with playwright Sir George Etherege
(an excellent Tom Hollander) and his Falstaff-style mate Charles Sackville (Johnny Vegas in typical Vegas mode).
It's a milieu among which Rochester is thoroughly at home, whoring and boozing with his fellow 17th century rat packers, waspish George Etherege
(Tom Hollander) and lascivious wit Charles Sackville (Johnny Vegas).
Earl of Rochester Johnny Depp Elizabeth Barry Samantha Morton King Charles II John Malkovich Elizabeth Malet Rosamund Pike Sir George Etherege Tom Hollander Charles Sackville Johnny Vegas Jane Kelly Reilly Harris Jack Davenport Alcock Richard Coyle Countess Francesca Annis Downs Rupert Friend Molly Luscombe Claire Higgins
Once in London, Wilmot falls back in with the swinging fast set, including waspish, wannabe playwright Sir George Etherege (Tom Hollander) and professional man of jest and leisure Charles Sackville (Johnny Vegas).
comedies of William Wycherley and George Etherege
both of whom had
Male dramatists during the Restoration were often in embarrassed circumstances: Wycherley spent at least a year in debtors' prison and was in legal troubles over his debts for the last three decades of his life; George Etherege
took minor diplomatic posts, first in Constantinople and then in Ratisbon (or Regensburg, as it is also known), that interrupted and then effectively ended his theatrical career; Thomas Otway died penniless despite a run of successful plays in the early 1680s; and Nathaniel Lee, the son of a prominent Anglican clergyman, spent four years in Bedlam before he died in the streets.
A long-standing former director of the Royal Court, Stafford-Clark has made a specialty of the mutually illuminating pairing of plays -- Farquhar's 18th-century "The Recruiting Officer," for instance, paired with a new play like Timberlake Wertenbaker's instant classic "Our Country's Good," or the Restoration-era "Man of Mode" by George Etherege
twinned, rather more cumbersomely, with Stephen Jeffreys' well-traveled "The Libertine.
Behn's miscellanies have been significant sources of copytexts for editors of her contemporaries; poems by Rochester, Dorset, George Etherege
, Thomas Otway, and Nahum Tam first appeared in print in Behn's miscellanies.
Heroic plays influenced by principles of French Neoclassicism enjoyed a vogue, but the age is chiefly remembered for its glittering, critical comedies of manners by such playwrights as George Etherege
, William Wycherley, Sir John Vanbrugh, and William Congreve.
Its author, beyond question, is Sir George Etherege