Follow King Cophetua as he navigates his way through our real and virtual worlds to find true love.

Like the painting, the film is narrated through an original poem written and spoken by poet Theresa Lola, bringing this timeless and universal story into our modern age.

Feeling inspired? See King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid in the flesh at the Edward Burne-Jones exhibition at Tate Britain, until 24 February 2019.

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A boy sits in a room bright as a favourite uncle’s gold tooth.
His heart is a bouquet of unaddressed love notes.
He is in search for something that will makes his heart drape
like a soft silk scarf on a shoulder.

Time teased patience but he is soon brought to stillness by a girl.
Her presence is strong as a row of fans blowing cold air during a heatwave.
When they notice each other they stretch their fingers to touch
like two wires trying to form a spark of light,
He holds her fingers like pearls in an expensive store shelf,
whispers, “the air around you feels like a force pulling me in”
she replies “I know, I know it is”
and retreats her hand from his with an assured smile.
He stares her in the eye as if waiting for butterflies
to rise from their pit but they never do.
He stares at her as he walks away.
She continues her elegant stance, unfazed,
aware that what is meant for her will fight for her.

He continues walking and meets another girl,
Her back is turned but he kneels and if prepared for the holiness of surrending..
Her body is a tank filled with all the tears she cried for the past men
who clawed her heart like sharks. She swims in her grief.
We can’t help that we carry our baggage with us like an overnight suitcase?
“Are you okay?” he asks.
She contemplates silence before responding
“I swim in grief in search of a lifeguard without judgement”.
They sit in their silence, unsure of it is fate for them to navigate love past broken.
He attempts to reach out his hand
but stops himself midway and walks away.

He continues walking, and sees a boy,
the boy reminds him of himself, the boy seems laid back
as if on holiday in France or somewhere with romance swinging in the air.
The boy’s poses his body as if modelling for a vogue magazine photo.
But there is more to the boy.
The boy’s body glows with charcoal from being burnt
by a flame that is not visible to the naked eye.
Aren’t we all being burnt from something others don’t know about?
The boy showers in his solitude, thinking of life, of love, or lonely.
The boy rubs his palms, a habit, an easy stress reliever.
On most days The boy’s finger is matchstick searching for someone love will spark with.

He continues walking and meets another girl,
When he sees her the tension pulls his nerves tighter than a packed London bus.
His heart begins beating like a child playing drums for the first time.
Love is unpredictable, like a cheeky child catching you off guard.
Comfortable in her own stance she does not plunge into his attention.
The air smells of lavender and begging.
He can’t wait to like all her posts
He wants his name to be the main thing floating through her pool of notifications.
This feeling is euphoric, waiting for a queen to sit on the empty chair
in this palace made of the echoes of joy.