James and Elizabeth were childhood sweethearts. They met at school and first started dating at the tender age of 16. James was the eldest of the couple at 17. It was love at first sight. Where you found James, you always found Elizabeth. They were inseparable. When Elizabeth turn’t 21, James took her to her favourite restaurant, got down on bended knee and proposed to her. She of course said yes and James took out a ring and placed it upon her finger. They were destined to be together forever.
Sadly, before they had the chance to Wed, then the Second World War started. He was told that he we be leaving for France but before he left, the members of his Platoon were given the opportunity to have a photo taken with their loved ones. The army believed this would help boost morale during their duties.
The day before he left, he took the photo from his pocket, and tore it down the middle and placed in his pocket the half of the photograph with Elizabeth on it. She took the half with him on it and held it to her chest with tears streaming from her eyes. They kissed and went their separate ways.
They both had every intention to one day marry but sadly, Elizabeth was relocated for safety. The town which she lived was turn’t to rubble including the restaurant in which they were engaged. They both lost contact and sadly, they never met again.
50 years later, James lived in the centre of London and often visited a Cafe which stood in place of the restaurant that once stood there. He had become well acquainted with the Cafe owner and was telling him about his long lost love and the photo that he still kept. The shop owner asked to see the photo.
James took the piece of photo from his wallet and upon seeing it, the Cafe owner instantly burst into tears. He told James to stay where he is, he made a coffee and placed it in front of James before leaving the Cafe. Nearly 45 minutes later and James, sitting with his back to the entrance of the Cafe heard his name called. He turn’t around to face the doorway and saw the outline of a women in the sunlight. The figure moved closer toward him so for the first time he could see her face. He realised, it was Elizabeth. She was stood in front of him as beautiful as ever. She took out a piece of photograph that she had with her.
He took out his and when placed together, it matched perfectly.
Strangely, Elizabeth had also returned to the same area just a few years before in hope she would find James but gave up. She had also visited the Cafe on many occasions but had never bumped into him.
At the ripe old age of 70 and 71, James and Elizabeth finally got married and lived happily ever after.
The effect itself is simple. Under fair conditions, an old sepia photo is shown to the spectator. It shows a young, happy couple. The photo is torn down the middle and half is given to your spectator whilst you keep the other half. The beautiful story above is told and although the spectator has had the image in her hand the whole time, she turns her piece over to see the young gentleman in her half of the photo has now aged. When the performer turns his piece over, the lady in his piece is also aged. Both halves of the photo of course match up and they may keep that image forever!
Several methods and ideas are discussed and I am sure you will find your own handlings. this is the perfect performance piece for those performing at weddings or intimate functions. But it also plays as a beautiful performance piece for cabaret and stage performers.
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