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Tipping the Velvet (2002)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama, Romance
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Set in the 1890's, tells the lesbian love affair between male impersonator music hall star Kitty Butler and Nan Astley.

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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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)
John Bowe ...
 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)
 Singer (2 episodes, 2002)


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


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

9 October 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Besant el vellut  »

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(3 parts)

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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Kitty Butler: Like a mermaid.
See more »


Featured in 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

25 October 2002 | by (Western Mass.) – See all my reviews

I'm glad I read the Sarah Waters novel first, since I had my own pictures of the characters in my head at the time. The ones cast for this production, however, were not at all disappointing - in fact, after I got used to Rachael Stirling as Nan, I think Nina Gold did a damn fine job in the casting department. (Can Keeley Hawes be more delicious?!)

The BBC has done it again: this is a wonderful production of a very good book, and they have done it up in style. If you can get your hands on this (VHS, DVD) be sure to get the 181-minute version (the uncensored one.) It is a marvelous journey, albeit a bit rocky at times, that you won't regret taking.

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