A single-volume edition of one of Coward's masterpieces, published to tie in with major Donmar Warehouse production in December 2002In The Vortex, Coward explores the darker side of the Cocktail Party set. Emotional blackmail, drug abuse and shattered relationships are minutely observed in this disturbing, early piece from a…
"Only in Semi-Monde does Coward find a successful metaphor for the sexual complications that lie behind his posturing. Semi-Monde is easily the most visually daring of his comedies, and the most intellectually startling ... made up of sexually mischievous tableaux vivants and gets much nearer the homosexual knuckle than Coward's public image allowed." - (John Lahr, London Review of Books)
Written in 1926 and originally entitled Ritz Bar, Semi-Monde was considered too daring for its time: "its production in London or New York seemed unlikely as some of the characters, owing to lightly suggested abnormalities, would certainly be deleted by the censor" (Noël Coward, Present Indicative). The play finally received its public premiere only after Coward's death, at the Citizen's Theatre, Glasgow, in September 1977.
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