Review: Tipping the Velvet ****

Tipping the Velvet

Theatre, comedy, music

The Space & Niddry Street

15.05 until 11th August

**** 4 Star

The coming of age story of Nancy Astley aka Nan King and Kitty Butler from the novel by Sarah Waters, though not all of the production remains true to original so die hard fans beware, however this interpretation delivers an outstanding performance that cannot fail to impress.

With the set and costumes, the stage is brought to life as the 1890’s. We are lead through the tale by our narrators, an Englishman, Irishman and Scots man, their role is to keep us up to date with the story as it enters the different stages and this is done with much humour and wit.

Most of us will know the plot of “Tipping the Velvet” but here is a quick version. Nancy Astley is fascinated with the music hall, well mostly her favourite act, Kitty Butler. Nancy and Kitty Butler initially form a friendship which then develops to more and they become a successful double act on stage, but when Kitty betrays Nancy she finds herself trying to survive in an unknown world, and we are taken through her life’s adventures.

The original work was highly praised for its portrayal of lesbians in the 1890’s, a subject of which little evidence exists and there is a strong message about the oppression of women. Marking the centenary of women’s right to vote, there is a strong message in this production.

Dark, witty and insightful with an extremely talented cast who will take you through the world of 19th-century Music Hall and the fight for women’s rights

Susan Clark