In Coward’s savage portrayal of 1920s cocktail society, Young plays musician Nicky Lancaster, who loses his fiancée to his sophisticated mother Florence’s toyboy lover. The Vortex (the title refers to the "youth vortex of beastliness") launched the then 25-year-old Coward’s career as a playwright and leading man.
Overnight critics were divided about the success of Young’s performance. While some praised the pop star for creating a touching character and bringing out the repressed homosexuality other actors in the role have “glossed over”, most agreed Young did not invest enough rage in Coward’s own “angry young man”. Some also noted that, while Young was brave to tackle such a complex role, he is simply too inexperienced to rise to the challenge. However, they were all impressed by the performances of Diana Hardcastle as his mother and the supporting cast in director Jo Combes’ production.
- by Caroline Ansdell