The Vortex shot Coward to fame in 1924 as both a playwright and a performer, its depiction of sex and drugs in the Jazz Age stunning the critics and causing a sensation.
Florence Lancaster is an ageing social beauty and a serial adulteress, who openly takes beautiful young lovers half her age. Her son Nicky returns from Paris with both his fiancée Bunty, and a serious drug addiction. As both mother and son show increasing instability and are abandoned by their lovers, the play moves toward darker territory. Beginning as an apparently frothy comedy, the facades of mother and son eventually collapse, and a raw, anguished drama is unleashed.
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