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The Vortex

The Vortex is a play by the English writer and actor Noël Coward. The story focuses on sexual vanity and drug abuse among the upper classes. The play was Coward’s first great commercial success.

After London productions in 1924–25, the play received a New York production in 1924–26. It has enjoyed several recent revivals.

The story is about a nymphomaniac socialite and her cocaine-addicted son (played by Coward). Some saw the drugs as a mask for homosexuality, while Kenneth Tynan later described it as “a jeremiad against narcotics with dialogue that sounds today not so much stilted as high-heeled”

Stephen Unwin’s fresh and radical production at the Rose Theatre, Kingston features the award-winning film actress Kerry Fox and the much-loved comic actor James Dreyfus, as well as David Dawson, one of our most brilliant young stars.


Clara Hibbert – Helen Atkinson Wood

David Lancaster – William Chubb

Bruce Fairlight – John Cummins

Nicky Lancaster – David Dawson

Preston – Helen Fletcher

Florence Lancaster – Kerry Fox

Tom Veryan – Jack Hawkins

Helen Saville – Rebecca Johnson

Bunty Mainwaring – Sophie Rundle

‘David Dawson is an arresting, magnetic presence’…..The Times


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