THE VORTEX Monologue

By Noel Coward

NICKY: Look at me. You’ve given me nothing my whole life. Nothing that counts. You forget what I’ve seen tonight Mother. I’ve seen you make a vulgar disgusting scene in your own house, and on top of that, humiliate yourself before a boy half your age. The misery of losing Bunty faded away when that happened. Everything is comparative after all. You ran after him up the stairs because your vanity wouldn’t let you lose him. It isn’t that you love him, no, that would be easier – you only love them loving you. All your so-called passion and temperament is false. Your whole existence has degenerated into an endless empty craving for admiration and flattery, and you say you’ve done no harm to anybody? Father used to be a clever man, with a strong will and a capacity for enjoying almost anything, but now, he’s nothing. A complete non- entity because his spirit has been crushed. How could it be otherwise? You’ve let him down consistently for years! And God knows I’m nothing for him to look forward to. But I might have been if it hadn’t been for you! You’re not happy. You’re never happy. You’re fighting all the time to keep your youth and your looks, as though they mattered in the end. You’re not young or beautiful. I’m seeing for the first time just how old you are. It’s horrible. With your silly fair hair and your face all plastered and painted. Mother! Mother, sit up! Now then, you’re not going to have any more lovers. You’re not going to be beautiful or successful ever again. You’re going to be my mother for once. It’s about time I had one before I go over the edge altogether. I love you really…that’s why it’s so awful.

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