Commissioned by Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2009)
Oyster girl Nancy Astley meets male impersonator Kitty Butler and her fate is sealed. She falls head-over-heels in love, joins her music hall act and takes an exhilarating journey to the high and low-life of Victorian London. Tipping the Velvet conjures up an intoxicating world of ‘grease-paint, wood and spilling beer, of gas and tobacco and hair-oil combined…the essence not of pleasure but of grief.’
From West End renter to East End ‘tom’, Nancy’s rites-of-passage tale comes richly to life in the first ever stage adaptation of Sarah Waters’ joyous novel.
Guildhall staged a three-night showcase production of the stage adaptation at the Bridewell Theatre, directed by Kath Rogers.
The production featured original music hall songs including As I Take My Morning Promenade, When the Right Girl Comes Along and If I Ever Cease to Love.
The debut novel by Sarah Waters explores aspects of sexuality, gender and class in Victorian London, imagining a lesbian presence in history where none was recorded.