High society in the roaring twenties; endless rounds of parties, cocktails and lovers. Florence Lancaster, an ageing social beauty and serial adulteress, shows off her latest younger lover. Her adult son Nicky returns from Paris with a fiancee and a serious drug addiction.
Starting as a frothy comedy, the play takes on a darker tone when the carefully cultivated facades of both mother and son begin to collapse and, the emptiness of lives lived only for pleasure is laid bare.
The Vortex is considered Coward's first masterpiece.