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The second act of the show, which runs an excessive two hours and 15 minutes with an intermission , is taken up with the princess's post-happily-ever-after days, which aren't so happy after all. The production's design accentuates the predominantly eerie air. Katrina Lindsay's shabby-chic set suggests a giant wooden wheel pocked with trapdoors. The costumes are often tattered: Goody's fairy wings look like the rickety remnants of a weather-beaten picket fence, and her hair resembles a tangled pile of red dish scrubbers.

Tim Mitchell's color-coded lighting moves from royal purple, for the scenes set at court, to a sanguinary red for the second act, when the princess and her babies fall into the clutches of that bloodthirsty ogress. Norris keeps the darkness from being overwhelming by filling the story with cheeky comic business. He allows the performers to goof merrily on their characters' cluelessness or malignancy. James Loye, who plays all the princes, is particularly delightful as the fatuous lad who finally breaks the spell.

The children in the audience hooted with happiness as he squirmed with repulsion at the thought of having to kiss a girl. HuffPost is now part of the Verizon Media family. We Verizon Media and our partners need your consent to access your device, set cookies, and use your data, including your location, to understand your interests, provide relevant ads and measure their effectiveness. Verizon Media will also provide relevant ads to you on our partners' products.

Learn More. To give you a better overall experience, we want to provide relevant ads that are more useful to you. I felt that ended just the way I wanted. But I might write some more. I'd deepen that aspect, and still keep the tension, if I did them today. People are much more comfortable today admitting and talking about what they enjoy in fiction and film. Much more. People are "out of the closet" about sexuality, period. The whole world knows women are sensual human beings as well as men.

It's no secret anymore that women want to read sexy fiction just as men do, and there's a new frankness about the varieties of fantasies one might enjoy. And this is a wonderful thing. In the traditional folktale of "Sleeping Beauty," the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious. Now Anne Rice, writing as A. Roquelaure, retells the Beauty story and probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire.

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Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him …as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, acompelling experience. The Prince had all his young life know the story of Sleeping Beauty, cursed to sleep for a hundred years, with her parents, the King and Queen, and all of the Court, after pricking her finger on a spindle.

Even the bodies of those other Princes caught in the thorns of the rose vines that covered the walls had not made him believe it. They had come believing it, true enough, but he must see for himself inside the castle.

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It was not his desire to die so much as to conquer. And picking his way through the bones of those who had failed to solve the mystery, he stepped alone into the great banquet hall. The sun was high in the sky and those vines had fallen away, so the light fell in dusty shafts from the lofty windows. And all along the banquet table, the Prince saw the men and women of the old Court, sleeping under layers of dust, their ruddy and slack faces spun over with spider webs.

He gasped to see the servants dozing against the walls, their clothes rotted to tatters. But it was true, this old tale. And, fearless as before, he went in search of the Sleeping Beauty who must be at the core of it. In the topmost bedchamber of the house he found her. He had stepped over sleeping chambermaids and valets, and, breathing the dust and damp of the place, he finally stood in the door of her sanctuary.

Sleeping Beauty

Her flaxen hair lay long and straight over the deep green velvet of her bed, and her dress in loose folds revealed the rounded breasts and limbs of a young woman. He opened the shuttered windows. The sunlight flooded down on her. And approaching her, he gave a soft gasp as he touched her cheek, and her teeth through her parted lips, and then her tender rounded eyelids.

The Sleeping Beauty - The First Awakening (The Royal Ballet)

Her face was perfect to him, and her embroidered had fallen deep into the crease between her legs so that he could see the shape of her sex beneath it. He drew out his sword, with which he had cut back all the vines outside, and gently slipping the blade between her two breasts, let it rip easily through the old fabric.

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Her dress was laid open to the hem, and he folded it back and looked at her. Her nipples were as rosy pink as were her lips, and the hair between her legs was darkly yellow and curlier than the long straight hair of her head which covered her arms almost down to her hips on either side of her. He cut the sleeves away, lifting her ever so gently to free the cloth, and the weight of her hair seemed to pull her head down over his arms, and her mouth opened just a little bit wider.

He put his sword to one side. He removed his heavy armor. And then he lifted her again, his left arm under her shoulders, his right hand between her legs, his thumb on the top of her pubis. Her head fells towards him, and he felt the hot moisture against his right hand, and laying her down again, he cupped both of her breasts, and sucked gently on one and then the other. They were plump and firm, these breasts. And he bit at her nipples, moving the breasts almost roughly so as to feel their weight, and then lightly he slapped them back and forth, delighting in this. His desire had been hard and almost painful to him when he had come into the room, and now it was urging him almost mercilessly.

He mounted her, parting her legs, giving the white inner flesh of her thighs a soft, deep pinch, and, clasping her right breast in his left hand, he thrust his sex into her. He was holding her up as he did this, to gather her mouth to him, and as he broke through her innocence, he opened her mouth with his tongue and pinched her breast sharply. He sucked her on the lips, he drew the life out of her into himself, and feeling his seed explode within her, heard her cry out.

Roquelaure elegantly written volumes of erotica, continues her explicit, teasing exploration of the psychology of human desire.

Now Beauty, having indulged in a secret and forbidden infatuation with the rebellious slave Prince Tristan, is sent away from the Satyricon-like world of the Castle. Sold at auction, she will soon experience the tantalizing punishments of "the village," as her education in love, cruelty, dominance, submission, and tenderness is turned over to the brazenly handsome Captain of the Guard.

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And once again Rice's fabulous tale of pleasure and pain dares to explore the most primal and well-hidden desires of the human heart. In the final volume of Anne Rice's deliciously tantalizing erotic trilogy, Beauty's adventures on the dark side of sexuality make her the bound captive of an Eastern Sultan and a prisoner in the exotic confines of the harem.

As this voluptuous adult fairy tale moves toward conclusion, all Beauty's encounters with the myriad variations of sexual fantasy are presented in a sensuous, rich prose that intensifies this exquisite rendition of Love's secret world, and makes the Beauty series and incomparable study of erotica.

In it, Anne Rice, writing as A. In , Anne Rice, writing as A. Roquelaure, began the first installment of the trilogy that is now considered a forerunner of erotic literature. Anne Rice was born in New Orleans in She is the author of many bestselling novels, including the widely successful Vampire Chronicles. Anne lives and works in Southern California.