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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 11:24 GMT
The Vortex: Press views
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Francesca Annis in The Vortex
Dry martinis and raw emotion in Coward's jazz age play
The critics review The Vortex at London's Donmar Warehouse.


The Guardian

While artfully refashioning himself as a cosmopolitan hedonist, Coward was always something of a middle-class moralist. And Grandage grasps the point that the whole play is a finger-wagging warning about the danger of living a lie. Christopher Oram's art deco designs elegantly grace a production that makes us realise that under the gilded carapace of Coward the Master lay the moralising spirit of a prim Victorian miss.


The Independent

What stops the production from taking full flight is the decision to edit out all the hints that the drama is a coded play about homosexuality. References to Nicky's effeminacy and to his strange disregard for Bunty's attractiveness have been quietly removed. A little more histrionic hysteria would do wonders for a revival that needs to whip up to a greater frenzy the whirlpool in this Vortex.


The Daily Telegraph

Grandage's staging deftly balances the piece's surface style and wit with the sudden shafts of deep feeling that retain all their power three quarters of a century on. There are dry martinis, cigarette holders and beautiful frocks in abundance, but the production does not short-change the audience when it comes to raw emotion.

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11 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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