(Theatre Royal, Haymarket, 22 September 2017)
It is the age of Restoration: of rakes, rogues and wenches, frock coats, billowing cuffs and absurdly large periwigs. Charles II has been on the throne for fifteen years and the age is at its pleasure-drunk apex. Bands of drunken young noblemen riot through taverns and theatres, shaking off the privations of their Puritan youth. Their figurehead is none other than the most lascivious, most scurrilous, most impudent nobleman of all: the Earl of Rochester. He has just been allowed back to court after a previous prank went wrong (accidentally reading out an extremely crude poem in front of the Queen’s visiting relatives), and he is determined to make up for lost time.