Sunday, 28 February 2010
Beauty and the Beast
This weekend just gone Mr Ashbless and I went to see the Disney Beauty and the Beast stage musical. It was lovely. And sweet. Or maybe not so sweet...
"My father lost me to The Beast at cards," is how Angela Carter's short story The Tiger's Bride opens. It's one of two riffs on B&tB in her seminal fairytale collection The Bloody Chamber (and if you haven't got a copy, WHY NOT? Get one now! - even if you have to sell your children to do so).
Beauty and the Beast has long been one of my favourite fairytales. Bookish girl, half-human male interest, the sickening fear, heh heh. And she's bartered by her father into slavery to a master with very unplatonic designs upon her: it's just bursting with sexual tension. My werewolf novella Bound in Skin is in fact an almost direct take on the story. Isolated castle. Big library. Trapped girl. Tortured, dangerous, lonely Beast. Oh yeah...
I always prefer the Beast before he gets transformed back into a handsome prince. Doesn't everyone? Of course this fairytale is forbidden by Black Lace standards - it breaks their rule that "It's got to have a human head!" and treads too close to bestiality. Hear that, all you Beauty and the Beast fans? You're a bunch of perverts! *sniggers*
Of course if you like your romantic hero more traditional - a dominant male who doesn't like to take No for an answer - there's always the hunky Gaston:
But I much prefer the Beast.