Tipping the Velvet (TV series)

Last updated

Tipping the Velvet
TippingTheVelvet.jpg
Based on Tipping the Velvet (1998)
by Sarah Waters
Written by Andrew Davies
Directed by Geoffrey Sax
Starring Rachael Stirling
Keeley Hawes
Anna Chancellor
Jodhi May
Music by Adrian Johnston
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Production
Producer Georgina Lowe
CinematographyCinders Forsha
EditorKristina Hetherington
Running time177 minutes (3 parts)
Distributor BBC
Release
Original release
  • 2002 (2002)

Tipping the Velvet is a 2002 BBC television drama serial based on the best-selling 1998 debut novel of the same name by Sarah Waters. It originally screened in three episodes on BBC Two and was produced for the BBC by the independent production company Sally Head Productions. It stars Rachael Stirling, Keeley Hawes, and Jodhi May.

Contents

Directed by Geoffrey Sax, the novel was adapted by screenwriter Andrew Davies. The production was made available on DVD by BBC Worldwide soon after broadcast.

Background and development

The BBC had previously aired an adaptation of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit in 1990 and some other scenes in dramas to follow, but none had been so explicit. Sally Head Productions defended the decision to air the entire programme uncut. [1] Waters was quite surprised that the BBC chose to produce and broadcast a television adaptation that faithfully followed the relish and detail of sexual escapades in the book. [2] Stirling thoroughly enjoyed the role, despite her avowed heterosexuality: "To counteract any hard-core sex within it, there's a huge sense of humour and a huge sense of fun and frivolity and joy of life. It was so utterly believable that you never for a moment thought, "fuck, there's no reason why I'm standing here naked." [3]

Screenwriter Andrew Davies said he was attracted to the story because it featured a girl transitioning into womanhood and it included his interests in Victorian erotica; he compared it to Pride and Prejudice —for which he wrote the BBC screenplay—"with dirty bits". [2] Both Waters and Davies were concerned about the use of dildos in scenes with Diana, but the BBC allowed it.

Waters especially appreciated the way Davies interpreted Kitty's ambivalence about being in love with Nan. He wrote the line for her, "I hate the way you make me feel", which according to Waters crystallises Kitty's complicated emotions well. [2] The music in the adaptation was written for the film. Waters wrote song titles but not lyrics in the music references in the novel. For one song, during Kitty and Nan's first performance in the adaptation, Davies wrote a composition that had Kitty show Nan—dressed and performing as brothers—how to pick up girls in the park. It involved Kitty teaching Nan how to kiss, which they do onstage in front of audiences who are watching women, dressed as men, who are in reality having an affair with each other beyond the view of the audience. [2] Waters wrote a similar description as Nan compares their act to their relationship; their sexual encounters to their performance onstage, noting the irony that Kitty insisted on absolute secrecy yet there they performed in front of thousands: "You are too slow—you go too fast—not there, but here—that's good—that's better! It was as if we walked before the crimson curtain, lay down upon the boards and kissed and fondled—and were clapped, and cheered, and paid for it!" [4]

Cast

CharacterEpisode 1Episode 2Episode 3
Gully Sutherland Johnny Vegas
Mrs Milne Tilly Vosburgh
Ralph Banner Hugh Bonneville
Freddy Benedict Cumberbatch
MaryMilly Gregory
Diana Lethaby
Anna Chancellor
Dickie
Sara Stockbridge
Davy AstleyPeter Kelly
Tony Reeves Dean Lennox Kelly
Mrs Jex
Janet Henfrey
Mrs Sykes Angela Curran
ElsieJanet Fullerlove
Annie PriceDiane Beck
Walter Bliss
John Bowe
Mrs Astley Annie Hulley
CyrilLouis Alderton
Zena Blake
Sally Hawkins
Kitty Butler
Keeley Hawes
Nan Astley
Rachael Stirling
Mrs Denby Bernice Stegers
Tricky Reeves Jim McManus
Renter Alice Paul Ready
Alice Astley Monica Dolan
Grace MilneHeather Dickinson
Bill David Webber
Mr Astley Richard Hope
Mrs Best Theresa Watson
Jimmy Burns Daniel Mays Daniel Mays
Florence Banner
Jodhi May
Charles Frobisher Alexei Sayle Alexei Sayle

Filming locations

The production team visited Whitstable in Kent, where Nancy Astley (Rachael Stirling) lived with her family, before she leaves for London. The Chatham Dockyard was used to double as London for the street scenes. [5]

Related Research Articles

Andrew Davies (writer) British screenwriter and novelist (born 1936)

Andrew Wynford Davies is a Welsh writer of screenplays and novels, best known for House of Cards and A Very Peculiar Practice, and his adaptations of Vanity Fair, Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, Bleak House and War & Peace. He was made a BAFTA Fellow in 2002.

Russell T Davies Screenwriter, former executive producer of Doctor Who

Stephen Russell Davies, better known as Russell T Davies, is a Welsh screenwriter and television producer whose works include Queer as Folk, The Second Coming, Casanova, the 2005 revival of the BBC One science fiction franchise Doctor Who, Cucumber, Years and Years and It's a Sin.

Neo-Victorian

Neo-Victorianism is an aesthetic movement which amalgamates Victorian and Edwardian aesthetic sensibilities with modern principles and technologies. Many magazines and websites are devoted to Neo-Victorian ideas in dress, family life, interior decoration, morals, and other topics.

<i>Tipping the Velvet</i>

Tipping the Velvet (1998) is a historical novel by Sarah Waters; it is her debut novel. Set in England during the 1890s, it tells a coming of age story about a young woman named Nan who falls in love with a male impersonator, follows her to London, and finds various ways to support herself as she journeys through the city. The picaresque plot elements have prompted scholars and reviewers to compare it to similar British urban adventure stories written by Charles Dickens and Daniel Defoe.

Rachael Stirling English actress (born 1977)

Rachael Atlanta Stirling is an English stage, film and television actress. She has been nominated twice for the Laurence Olivier Award for her stage work. She played Nancy Astley in the BBC drama Tipping the Velvet, and Millie in the ITV series The Bletchley Circle. She has also guest starred in Lewis and Doctor Who.

Geoffrey Sax is a British film and television director, who has worked on a variety of drama productions in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

<i>Pride and Prejudice</i> (1995 TV series) 1995 British television drama series

Pride and Prejudice is a six-episode 1995 British television drama, adapted by Andrew Davies from Jane Austen's 1813 novel of the same name. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth starred as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy respectively. Produced by Sue Birtwistle and directed by Simon Langton, the serial was a BBC production with additional funding from the American A&E Network. BBC1 originally broadcast the 55-minute episodes from 24 September to 29 October 1995. The A&E Network aired the series in double episodes on three consecutive nights beginning 14 January 1996.

<i>Shes All That</i> 1999 film directed by Robert Iscove

She's All That is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy film directed by Robert Iscove. It stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Rachael Leigh Cook, Paul Walker and Matthew Lillard. After being dumped by his girlfriend, Zack Siler boasts he could make any girl in school popular. It is a modern adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion and George Cukor's 1964 film My Fair Lady.

Sarah Waters Welsh novelist

Sarah Ann Waters is a Welsh novelist. She is best known for her novels set in Victorian society and featuring lesbian protagonists, such as Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith.

<i>Pride & Prejudice</i> (2005 film) 2005 film by Joe Wright

Pride & Prejudice is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright, in his feature directorial debut, and based on Jane Austen's 1813 novel of the same name. The film features five sisters from an English family of landed gentry as they deal with issues of marriage, morality and misconceptions. Keira Knightley stars in the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet, while Matthew Macfadyen plays her romantic interest Mr. Darcy. Produced by Working Title Films in association with StudioCanal, the film was released on 16 September 2005 in the United Kingdom and on 11 November in the United States.

<i>Emma</i> (1996 TV film) 1996 television film directed by Diarmuid Lawrence

Jane Austen's Emma is an adaptation of the 1815 novel of the same name. It was adapted for the British television network ITV in 1996, directed by Diarmuid Lawrence and dramatised by Andrew Davies, the same year as Miramax's film adaptation of Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow. This production of Emma stars Kate Beckinsale as the title character, and also features Samantha Morton as Harriet Smith and Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley.

Oliver Graham Chris is an English actor. He has appeared in television series, TV films and on the stage. His work has included theatrical productions in London's West End and Broadway in New York City.

<i>Bleak House</i> (2005 TV serial)

Bleak House is a fifteen-part BBC television drama serial adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel of the same name, which was originally published in 1852–53 as itself a print serialisation over 20 months. Produced with an all-star cast, the serial was shown on BBC One from 27 October to 16 December 2005, and drew much critical and popular praise. It has been reported that the total cost of the production was in the region of £8 million.

Rick Deckard Fictional character from Blade Runner

Rick Deckard is a fictional character, the protagonist of Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Harrison Ford portrayed the character in the 1982 film adaptation, Blade Runner, and reprised his role in the 2017 sequel, Blade Runner 2049. James Purefoy voiced the character in the 2014 BBC Radio 4 adaptation.

Caroline Langrishe is an English actress.

Sally Hawkins English actress

Sally Cecilia Hawkins is an English actress. She is the recipient of numerous accolades including a Golden Globe Award and the Silver Bear for Best Actress, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards.

<i>Affinity</i> (novel)

Affinity is a 1999 historical fiction novel by Sarah Waters. It is the author's second novel, following her debut Tipping the Velvet. Set during 1870s Victorian England, it tells the story of a woman, Margaret Prior, who is haunted by a shadowy past and in an attempt to cure her recent bout of illness and depression, begins visits to the women's wards of Millbank Prison. Whilst there she becomes entranced by the spiritualist Selina Dawes, with whom she becomes obsessed and begins an inappropriate relationship. Written as an epistolary novel, the story alternates as a series of diary entries written by both main characters.

David Nicholls (writer)

David Alan Nicholls is an English novelist and screenwriter.

<i>Sweet Kitty Bellairs</i> 1930 film

Sweet Kitty Bellairs is a 1930 American historical musical comedy film directed by Alfred E. Green. The film is based on the 1900 novel, The Bath Comedy by Agnes Castle and Egerton Castle. Shot entirely in Technicolor, the film stars Claudia Dell, Ernest Torrence and, Walter Pidgeon and is set in Bath, England in 1793.

Fanny Hill is a BBC adaptation of John Cleland's controversial 1748 novel, Fanny Hill, written by Andrew Davies and directed by James Hawes. This is the first television adaptation of the novel. Fanny Hill was broadcast in October 2007 on BBC Four, in two episodes. Fanny Hill tells the story of a young country girl who is lured into prostitution in 18th century London.

References

  1. Brooks, Richard (18 August 2002). "Explicit lesbian drama will top BBC schedule", The Sunday Times (London), p. 7.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Tipping the Velvet: DVD Special Features (2002). Acorn Media.
  3. Stockwell, Anne (13 May 2003). "My Life as a Victorian Dyke, The Advocate Issue 889, p. 58–60.
  4. Waters, Sarah (2000), Tipping the Velvet: A Novel , New York City: Riverhead Trade, p. 128, ISBN   1-57322-788-9 .
  5. Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Tipping the Velvet Film Focus".