Tipping the Velvet (2002)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama, Romance
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Reviews: 44 user | 3 critic

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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Series cast summary:
 Nan Astley (3 episodes, 2002)
 Kitty Butler (3 episodes, 2002)
 Diana Lethaby (2 episodes, 2002)
 Florence Banner (2 episodes, 2002)
Alexei Sayle ...
 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  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


(3 parts)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


In an interview Keeley Hawes said that she and Rachel Stirling got drunk before shooting the love scenes, but also said kissing a woman was not much different than kissing a man. 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 »


Nancy Nan Astley: But I didn't want to be her sister... I wanted to be her sweetheart!
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Very Sweet... Very Sexy
16 September 2004 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

This wonderful 3 part BBC production is one of the sweetest love stories that I have seen in a while. The actresses display a very high level of talent, especially Rachael Stirling as Nan Astley. She is funny, seductive and cute. The love making scenes and the close up kisses are very erotic regardless of one's sexual preference.

The characters are well defined and very believable. I guess this is a by-product of a good adaptation from a well written novel.

A truly remarkable well paced drama that picks up speed quickly after a couple of boring (but necessary) scenes in the beginning.

My vote: 9/10

48 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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