Sign up today to unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities. Nicky struggles with the simmering resentment he feels for his vainglorious and promiscuous mother, his own weakness for cocaine, and, in the view of some commentators, his repressed homosexuality. [16] Coward was able to engage the veteran actress Lilian Braithwaite, who accepted the part for the small salary offered and learned it at very short notice. 0. Meanwhile, Nicky’s mother has affairs with younger men. [37], A 1928 film version starred Willette Kershaw as Florence and Ivor Novello as Nicky. "[18] Hannen Swaffer, a reviewer who became Coward's most implacable critic over the years, called it "the most decadent play of our time". A young composer, Nicky, proposes to his lover named Bunty. "[5] Florence's lover Tom finds Nicky "effeminate". Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities. Nicky Lancaster is a talented and fashionable, but feckless, young composer and pianist in post-World War I England. The production transferred to the Criterion Theatre, London, for 44 performances, with Michael Gough taking over as Nicky. [29] This was followed by an American tour.[30]. [23] As Coward noted in his memoir Present Indicative, "The Press notices ... were, on the whole, enthusiastic. The next morning Helen asks Florence to think of her son, but Florence is more concerned with blaming Tom and Bunty. Hoare, p. 137. In 1960 a BBC version starred Ann Todd and David McCallum as Florence and Nicky. He persuaded Cromer that the play was "a moral tract", and despite reservations expressed to the Chamberlain by King George V and others, Cromer granted a licence. 0 ... We only provide suggested audition monologues or songs for an individual character if our system finds content that matches a character's traits. Hoare, p. 131; and "Mrs Gladys Calthrop – Artist and stage designer", "Londoners Cool to Hair's Nudity: Four Letter Words Shock Few at Musical's Debut", "Noel Coward: A Brief Biography – Part II", "A Century of Modern Theatre: The Vortex",,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 October 2020, at 10:39. 0. Florence plans a weekend social gathering at the family's country house. [15] Upset by a last-minute revision that increased Coward's role and, she believed, diminished the importance of hers, the female star, Kate Cutler, dropped out less than two weeks before the premiere. The play depicts the sexual vanity of a rich, ageing beauty, her troubled relationship with her adult son, and drug abuse in British society circles after the First World War. He reveals his drug habit to her and begs her to give up her selfish ways and to behave like a mother. [1] The idea for the play was put in Coward's mind by an incident at a nightclub. The Vortex focuses on sexual vanity and drug abuse among the upper classes. Research Playwrights, Librettists, Composers and Lyricists. References to Nicky's effeminacy and to his strange disregard for Bunty's attractiveness have been quietly removed. Sorry! In 2008 the play was performed at the Apollo Theatre, London, starring Felicity Kendal as Florence and Dan Stevens as Nicky. Florence's new young man, Tom, turns out to be Bunty's ex-fiancé, which makes Nicky jealous. [2] Grace Forster, the elegant mother of his friend Stewart Forster, was talking to a young admirer, when a young woman said, in earshot of Coward and Forster, "Will you look at that old hag over there with the young man in tow; she's old enough to be his mother".