Oh yes, I do - Marina Theatre panto star in romantic on stage proposal
PUBLISHED: 09:49 09 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:49 09 January 2015
As Muddles in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, his character has spent the last six weeks trying to get Snow White to marry him.
But as the curtains fell on this season’s Lowestoft pantomime, the actor behind the comic clown proposed to his real-life girlfriend on stage - and was thrilled when she said oh yes, I do.
Rik Gaynor, 48, had his heart set on getting wed to his partner, Sharon Hutchinson, for some time when a role came up at this year’s Marina Theatre panto.
As soon as the Elvis impersonator accepted the role, he realised that on stage at one of the east coast’s top theatres was the perfect place to pop the question.
“When we spoke about me doing this pantomime about March/April time, I knew I wanted to marry Sharon anyway,” said Mr Gaynor, whose voice will be familiar to many holidaymakers to the Suffolk coast as the author and singer of many children’s songs at venues such as Pontins.
“I thought: ‘What better place to do it?’ especially so close to her birthday.”
The moment finally came on New Year’s Day, when Mr Gaynor summoned an unsuspecting Miss Hutchinson on stage while he was doing happy birthday wishes for children in the audience.
Few people knew what Mr Gaynor had planned as Miss Hutchinson - who has never had a birthday cake - thought she was about to get a treat for her 46th birthday.
With family friends planted in the audience with video cameras to capture the moment, Mr Gaynor revealed there was no cake and that they would have to “fill in” for a bit.
It was then that the keyboard player started playing Love Me Tender and Mr Gaynor uttered the words: “Me being Muddles, every day I get things wrong.
“I’ve been asking Snow White to marry me, but I’ve been asking the wrong girl.”
He then got down on one knee and proposed - with the audience cheering when she said yes straight away.
The proposal has since got hundreds of shares on Mr Gaynor’s Facebook page - and the Marina has been buzzing with talk of the romantic moment.
“Most people said what a lovely way it was to do it,” he said.
“Sharon couldn’t believe it. She was absolutely gobsmacked.
“She really thought we were getting her on stage to get her a cake. She was never expecting for one moment that we would do that.
“She was over the moon. It was absolutely fantastic.”
Miss Hutchinson said: “I definitely wasn’t expecting that. I’m not one of those people who likes to be on stage - I get quite embarrassed, so it had to be a full house!”
However she said she had now “got the man of my dreams”.
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