The Prince & The Succubus and Other Tales (2023)

The Prince & The Succubus and Other Tales represents Lauric Mahé-Stephenson’s graduate project to his 2 year MA at the Royal College of Art. In his final year, Lauric excavated the fairy tales, folklore and myths that have shaped our collective subconscious, whilst also deconstructing the Christian ideology and iconography that he grew up with. Through film, text and performance, Lauric creates a wide corpus of queer fairytales, both new and familiar, in which he explores questions of gender and sexuality, guided by the mythical creature of the Succubus. The sleep-demon becomes an anchor-point to his artistic intentions and a symbol of the queer bodies and monsters being celebrated through this body of works.


The Prince & The Succubus is a direct adaptation of the tale from the eponymous book of fairy tales. The piece adapts the story to the specificities of the medium, offering a looser narrative structure more in line with experimental filmmaking. It is a live-action silent film that celebrates the erotic and the reverie, ultimately blurring the binaries of good and evil in conventional Western folklore. Through the guidance of its eponymous sleep-demon, The Prince & The Succubus crafts a narrative of self-acceptance and inclusivity, inviting us to release our innermost desires.

With intricate costumes by Aloïse Mahé-Stephenson, Emilia Lunney and Elliott Adcock, alongside rich set-design by Lauric Mahé-Stephenson, Makiko Harris and Yu Huaixi, the film is a powerful visual feast which transports the viewer into a singular world. This is complemented by the ethereal original score by artist Jonatan Wejnold which brings a dreamlike quality to the piece.

Referencing the avant-garde movements of silent filmmaking, notably German Expressionism, the film also pays homage to the rich history of queer filmmaking, from early figures like Kenneth Anger, James Bidgood and Jean Genet, to the more contemporary works of Yann Gonzalez.

The below extract shows a climactic moment from the film where the young Prince travels to an enchanted woodlands and encounters a Nymph, hungry for his flesh. Ultimately, she notices the rose he is carrying, which contains the spirit of his dead mother, the Queen, and decides to help him in his quest. She then brings him to the Succubus who will reveal his innermost desires and awaken the Prince to his true calling.


The Prince & The Succubus and Other Tales is a collection of fairytales both new and familiar, entirely written and illustrated by Lauric Mahé-Stephenson. The book aims to reclaim a history of queer archetypes from fairytales to blur the dichotomy of good and evil in Western folklore and celebrate monstrosity as an empowering part of one's individuality.

The texts are written with a creative approach, alternating between prose, poetry or dialogue, and using different narrative voices. The stories are brought to life with a wide variety of characters, from the non-binary eponymous sleep-demon to anthropomorphic bats, by way of a crafty Princess who can sew herself a new skin.

Oracle of Queer Fairytales

The Oracle of Queer Fairytales is an original deck of oracle cards inspired by the book, The Prince & The Succubus and Other Tales. The deck uses the illustrations from the book and draws the attention to the significance of the archetypes and characters present on each image. Loosely inspired by the Rider-Waite Tarot, the cards can be used for divination readings where the reader invites the querent to choose three cards and offers a reading based on their association. The Oracle ultimately becomes an invitation for storytelling as the reader can then offer to read a poem or text sample attached to one of the cards.

© Lauric Mahé-Stephenson 2022