Play of the Week: The Vortex, Rose Theatre, Kingston


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The Independent Culture

Stephen Unwin delivers an incisive and acidly entertaining revival of the play that catapulted Noel Coward to notoriety in 1924.

David Dawson pulls you with terrific immediacy into the confusion of the hero, who returns home from Paris to find his mother as addicted to adulation from young men as he is hooked on cocaine.

The designs establish an atmosphere of jagged dislocation for this Jazz Age drama, while the excellent cast convey the comic strain of bourgeois between-the-wars fast living as they bitchily coruscate on thin ice.

In Unwin's hands, Coward's taboo-breaker can still pack a punch. Warmly recommended.

(08444 821 556; to 2 Mar