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Tipping The Velvet

Released on 28 October 2002

Featuring: Rachael Stirling, Keeley Hawes & Hugh Bonneville

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

5.0 out of 5 (10 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The most sexually explicit drama the BBC has ever broadcast!

An erotically charged exploration of lesbian life in Victorian London...

Episode 1 The glamorous world of the 19th -century music hall provides the backdrop for Nan's first love affair with Kitty Butler, a popular male impersonator. When Kitty is offered the chance to perform in London, a delighted Nan accompanies her as a dresser, but true success doesn't happen until Nan becomes part of the act.

Episode 2 Alone and devastated by her betrayal, Nan cannot return to her family in Whitstable so takes to the streets to survive. In her guise as a male impersonator, she finds a niche in the Victorian sexual underworld and is also drawn into the web of a rich Sapphic society widow who offers sex, excitement and luxury but at a perilous price.

Episode 3 Diana throws out Nan and Blake and Blake disappears with all of the money leaving a totally destitute Nan. The only person she can think to turn to ends up unwelcoming to her. So begins a very different phase for Nan, which leads ultimately to her making the most important decision of her life...
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customer Reviews

 Average rating (10 reviews)

 Bawdy Music Hall Romance

| | See all CompanyOfWolves's reviews (23)

A passionate, historical lesbian love story set amidst the music halls of London's West End from a definitively female perspective.

Condensing Sarah Waters' novel into three hour-long television episodes results in a much faster pace that, at times, can feel a little clumsy. Add to that the show itself jumps between comic, bawdy music hall comedy to dark, desperate drama and Tipping the Velvet can be a little hard to get used to.

However the essence of lost and losing love is there with full force. Nan and Kitty's restrained feelings simmer and bubble in episode one and we're quite expertly teased with "she said she loves her, oh my... as a friend... bugger" like moments. Episode two is much harder to watch as Nan falls deeper into the gutter and deeper into perversion and what starts as comic becomes tragedy. And episode three gives us great 'edge of the seat' climax, and takes Nan's journey to it's darkest and brightest places. Kudos to Rachel Stirling and Keeley Hawes for such convincing, powerful performances.

The mini-series touches on gender and class, and is ultimately empowering and quite moving. Of what little extras there are, there's a good interview session with Sarah Waters and the series scriptwriter.


| | See all fin7880's reviews (2)

Fantastic story and beautifully acted. I have watched this many times and I love it more and more.

 Delightful little gem

| | See all Katseye's reviews (5)

A very well cast film - great acting and very well written. A rare gem that I have watched over and over - a must have at the price.

 amazing love story.

| | See all sylvio's reviews (7)

what a beautiful story,from beginning to end it grabs your full attention.sarah waters has a way of telling a story that is incredible.her victorian tales are the best..this is one for anyone's collection and one that you can watch over and over again..simply wonderful

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ActorsRachael Stirling, Keeley Hawes, Hugh Bonneville, John Bowe, Anna Chancellor & Jodhi May
DirectorGeoffrey Sax
Certificate15 years and over
ScreenWidescreen 16:9 Anamorphic
Duration3 hours and 5 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.