The Vortex

The Diaries of a Cosmopolitan

Source: Count Harry Kessler (translated and edited by Charles Kessler), The Diaries of a Cosmopolitan 1918-1939 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson), p. 257

Production: Noël Coward, The Vortex, Comedy Theatre, London, 19 March 1925

Text: Saw Noel Coward’s Vortex at the Comedy Theatre. He also plays the lead, a young drug addict. A very powerful piece. Coward’s performance is superb. With shattering realism yet masterly restraint, and no cheap tricks, he acts the tragedy on the son of a vain, pleasure-seeking, thoroughly depraved and heartless beautiful woman. The ending, though, is inconclusive because there is in fact no way out of the situation.

Comments: Harry Kessler (1868-1937) was an Anglo-German aristocrat and diplomat. His diaries are an exceptionally vivid and observant account of art and politics in Weimar Germany. Noël Coward‘s controversial play The Vortex originally opened at the Everyman on 25 November 1924, transferring later to the Royalty and then the Comedy.