Birth of Pleasure (1997)

Rosemary Branch Theatre, London

"There is almost an epic quality to this version of a story believed to be the root of Beauty and the Beast and many other tales. Wonderful Beast has kept complete faith with the material. It pays handsomely."— Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

The story of Cupid and Psyche is from The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius written in 2nd century A.D. Precursor to Beauty and The Beast, it is full of the familiar situations and characters that we meet in Snow White, Blue Beard, Cinderella and countless others. They are all there: Psyche's wicked, scheming older sisters; Venus, the jealous older woman; Cupid, the 'beast' lover; Psyche who cannot resist the forbidden, ants who help her succeed in seemingly impossible tasks, magical objects that offer advice, Psyche's descent into the underworld and, finally, her elevation from mortal to God coupled with marriage to Cupid and a baby called Pleasure!



Writer: Jehane Markham

Director: Penny Cherns

Producer: Alys Kihl

Designer: Will Hargreaves

Movement director: Liana Nyquist

Music: Ben Harlan

Stage manager: Hannah Seaton




Sarah Coomes

Tim Funnell

Laura Paton


Paula Stephens

Daniel Tomlinson




Ben Harlan

Acya Ozanlar




The John Lewis Partnership

The Morris Charitable Trust

Haberdashers Company

Islington Arts and Heritage

Haberdashers’ Company

Private donations



"What magnificent storytelling –riveting. And I'm just about to embark on Brecht with my pupils." — Drama teacher


"It made me feel like a child again."  — Caryl Churchill


"Enchanting, magical." — Juliet Stevenson