Set in the 1890's, tells the lesbian love affair between male impersonator music hall star Kitty Butler and Nan Astley.
Reviews
Popularity
2,636 ( 48)

Watch Now

From $7.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
2002  
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fingersmith (TV Mini-Series 2005)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Susan "Sue" Trinder is a fingersmith (British slang for thief) who lives in the slums of London with a baby farmer (person who looks after unwanted babies) Mrs.Sucksby. When a once rich man... See full summary »

Stars: Elaine Cassidy, Sally Hawkins, Imelda Staunton
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drama centered on two women who engage in a dangerous relationship during South Africa's apartheid era.

Director: Shamim Sarif
Stars: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Parvin Dabas
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In nineteenth century Yorkshire wealthy orphan Anne Lister lives with an aunt and uncle, anxious for her to marry well and blissfully - unaware that she is a lesbian. Anne is recording her ... See full summary »

Director: James Kent
Stars: Maxine Peake, Anna Madeley, Susan Lynch
Affinity I (2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A grieving upper class woman becomes a "Lady Visitor" at Millbank prison, hoping to escape her troubles and be a guiding figure in the lives of the female prisoners. Of all her friendships ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Fywell
Stars: Zoë Tapper, Anna Madeley, Domini Blythe
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An uptight and conservative woman, working on tenure as a literacy professor at a large urban university, finds herself strangely attracted to a free-spirited, liberal woman who works at a local carnival that comes to town.

Director: Patricia Rozema
Stars: Pascale Bussières, Rachael Crawford, Henry Czerny
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A 2008 romance film adapted from a same name novel about a London-based Jordanian of Palestinian descent, Tala, who is preparing for an elaborate wedding. A turn of events causes her to ... See full summary »

Director: Shamim Sarif
Stars: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Antonia Frering
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two attractive young lesbians, Maggie and Kim, meet in Vancouver, develop a passionate romance, and move in together. Meanwhile, Maggie's well-meaning but naive mother Lila gets divorced ... See full summary »

Director: Anne Wheeler
Stars: Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Annabelle is the wise-beyond-her-years newcomer to an exclusive Catholic girls school. Having been expelled from her first two schools she's bound to stir some trouble. Sparks fly between ... See full summary »

Director: Katherine Brooks
Stars: Erin Kelly, Diane Gaidry, Laura Breckenridge
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A feisty young woman returns to Glasgow to run her deceased father's curry house.

Director: Pratibha Parmar
Stars: Laura Fraser, Shelley Conn, Art Malik
Saving Face (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.

Director: Alice Wu
Stars: Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiec, Lynn Chen
Desert Hearts (1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She's unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly... See full summary »

Director: Donna Deitch
Stars: Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley
Elena Undone (2010)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Fate brings two diversely different women together, and sets them on a collision course that will shatter their preconceived notions about love, life and the power of one's soul.

Director: Nicole Conn
Stars: Necar Zadegan, Traci Dinwiddie, Gary Weeks
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Nan Astley (3 episodes, 2002)
...
 Kitty Butler (3 episodes, 2002)
...
 Diana Lethaby (2 episodes, 2002)
...
 Florence Banner (2 episodes, 2002)
...
 Charles Frobisher (2 episodes, 2002)
...
 Walter Bliss (2 episodes, 2002)
...
 Zena Blake (2 episodes, 2002)
...
 Woman with Cigar (2 episodes, 2002)
Carl Chase ...
 Corder (2 episodes, 2002)
Janet Henfrey ...
 Mrs. Jex (2 episodes, 2002)
...
 Jimmy Burns (2 episodes, 2002)
...
 Mrs. Denby (2 episodes, 2002)
Sara Stockbridge ...
 Dickie (2 episodes, 2002)
Susie Valerio ...
 Singer (2 episodes, 2002)
Edit

Storyline

Dramatised from Sarah Waters' acclaimed debut novel, "Tipping the Velvet" tells the story of Nancy Astley (Rachael Stirling), a young girl who works as cook and waitress in her Father's seaside restaurant - that is until she witnesses the extraordinary performance of a new-to-town male impersonator - Kitty Butler (Keeley Hawes) - and begins to undergo a complete life transformation. Suddenly whipped up - and quickly flung down - by her love affair with Kitty, she experiences both euphoria and deep disillusion as she embarks on a seven-year journey of self-discovery - finally realizing that a life of sensation just isn't enough. Written by Kanji

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Besant el vellut  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(3 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Author Sarah Waters was an extra in the film. She was a member of the audience to one of the shows. On the DVD she can be seen as such on the menu screen, and in the beginning of the movie when the credit "Based on the novel by Sarah Waters" is shown. See more »

Goofs

The roses Kitty gives out in her act are obviously artificial. But later when Nan shows Kitty she kept the rose she received from her, the rose is wilted. See more »

Quotes

Florence Banner: [after overhearing a prostitute in the women's bar talk about an easy and enjoyable job, Florence looks truly puzzled] Tipping the velvet? Why what ever can THAT be?
Nancy Nan Astley: [rather surprised at the question] You don't know?
Florence Banner: [Smiling] Well it sounds like something to do with dress making or millinary, but it can't be. No one would pay to watch that.
Nancy Nan Astley: [Laughing] No. It isn't.
Florence Banner: Well what then?
Florence Banner: [Nan has showed Florence the tip of her tongue, then pointedly nodded and looked at Florence's lap] Oh!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Screenwipe: Episode #2.3 (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Exquisite and gorgeous!
7 September 2004 | by (León, Spain) – See all my reviews

I am getting obsessed by it, playing the DVD over and over. And it is not because of the lesbian love story, nor because of the physical relationship neither. It's about the tenderness and care with which the whole thing is done. You obviously can notice that in the script itself, even in the rawer moments there's certain hope. But also in the music (the melodies are so sweet), the photography (all this wine like and golden tones for indoor scenes), the so fine decoration and set design (theatres and back stages), those little sounds added (hoses running, opera voices ..), those visual metaphors (burning fondue for Kitty's jealousy, empty oyster shells swirling in the waves as Nan meets life ..) …etc..

To me the most beautiful concept is the protagonist personal and sentimental growth, how she becomes an adult by finding love and life. About this, an outstanding detail is Nan's expression and tone of voice. There's one scene in first episode: Kitty and Nan are in Nan's room at Nan's parents, Nan takes the rose Kitty gave to her in the theatre from a drawer and says: 'Remember when you gave me this?' .. The tone in which the sentence is said is so wonderful, it express so much thrill, admiration, delight and most of all innocence. This is what the first episode is about, Nan and her innocence and childhood lost… something left in the sea waves of her home town shore where she was an oyster. But in the second and third episodes she looses this purity in her voice, as she's becoming an adult in all senses. She sounds stronger and more secure... the oyster opens.

This leads me to talk about Rachael's awesome work, all these details are not only shown in her voice but in her acting. And what is more, she not only acts great all the way long but also she sings lovely! The rest of the actresses are wonderful too .. Anna Chancellor's Diana still scares me ;) What to say about magnetic Kitty (whoah Keeley!) and also Jhodi May builds a so very nice good home-loving girl. The actors are quite good too, including baby Cyril ;-)

Another good feature to point out is the rhythm of the episodes development. We can see Kitty and Nan's debut on stage at the same time that all their previous rehearsals, and also Nan's cooking and cleaning at Flo's at the same time that she recovers emotionally from wandering the streets. All this action together prevents the episodes from slow down and from loosing the attention.

But of course this story is a tale, in which the protagonist suffers but at the end wins, there is no point in looking for resemblances with real life as life is much more complicated than a tale. She even triumphs at speaking in the socialist rally saving Flo's brother from stage fright. And I think choosing one girl instead of the other pretended to be a happy end … personally I would definitively have chosen the other, no doubt at all ;-D

I've found a soundtrack at amazon.co.uk but it doesn't include the songs the girls sing at stage .. anyone know where to find them?

Thanks for reading


60 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
should nan of chose kitty AltiIshot
Not as good as Fingersmith roxist
Favorite Scene? Echo-the-Nymph
Do you sometimes wonder...? herbidacious
Favourite minor character? immortal_leonharte
How realistic? piskieface
Discuss Tipping the Velvet (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?