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Monday, 07 September 2015 22:29

Bestselling Lesbian Novel "Tipping The Velvet" By Sarah Waters Was Adapted For The Theatre

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tipping the velvet play


Laura Wade adapts for the theater the novel «Tipping the Velvet» by Sarah Waters.

«A lot of the novel is very theatrical: it plays on the idea of dressing up, cross-dressing and self-invention and, of course, the first third takes place in traditional Victorian music halls,» Laura Wade told The Independent. «So we wanted to harness that theatricality, and also use several techniques of the old music-hall acts – ventriloquism, comedy sketches, songs and so forth – to tell aspects of the story. We don’t really bother with the fourth wall, for example. We want to capture some of that Victorian engagement with the audience, although I suspect our audiences will be less rowdy.»

«Tipping The Velvet» has revolutionized the LGBT literature when it was released in 1998, thanks to its numerous erotic scenes. Despite the difficulties that can arise staging of love scenes in theater, in comparison to the cinema or on television, these scenes will be included in the play. Wade says that every scene will be treated differently to recreate the passion between the two women.

This adaptation will also help to renew a little theater. In the UK, it is not unusual to see gay stories, but lesbian stories are far too rare.

«Traditionally there are fewer plays written by women, although we’re doing our best to counteract that now. Yet it’s not just lesbian stories. Female sexuality in general has always been a minority issue. People haven’t felt the need to worry about it because it only reflects 50 per cent of the population,» she added.

«But to be honest, it’s also because sex is really difficult to deal with on stage.

«The theatre can’t get in close in the way that a novel or a film can do. Try and capture the tenderness or passion of those close-ups on stage and it’s just a couple of bodies. You can’t direct the gaze in the same way.»

It is time to change that! So if you go to London, be sure to go see this adaptation at the Lyric Hammersmith from 19 to 24 September. For more information, visit this site:

Hopefully «Tipping The Velvet» will be only the first of a long series of lesbian plays.


Lezbelib is the online magazine that helps LGBTQ+ women to stay updated with entertaining blogs and breaking news about LGBT rights.