A surprise marriage proposal gave a performance of Cinderella a real-life fairytale ending.
Vishal Patel, a dentist who works in Higham Ferrers, surprised his fiancee Heena Pindoria by going down on one knee in front of a packed audience at the pantomime.
Mr Patel popped the question at the performance at the Royal & Derngate, in Northampton, on December 22 in a bid to surprise his fiancee.
He said: “We are both normally low-key. If she expected anything I think she would expect me to propose at somewhere more obvious, like at a nice meal.
“But I wanted to surprise her and do something out of the ordinary. We had booked tickets for this show a long time ago, and I knew it would have been the last thing she expected.”
The pair, both 27, were later invited on to the stage to meet panto stars Bobby Davro and Denise Welch and sit in the Cinderella carriage, before meeting the rest of the cast backstage.
Mr Patel had contacted the theatre to sort out the surprise arrangements, which took place at the end of the show after the traditional birthday announcements.
After the announcements were made, Denise Welch asked if there was a Heena Pindoria in the house. The spotlight shone on her, and it was then that Mr Patel got down on one knee.
Mr Patel, who works for ADP Dental Surgery, in High Street, Higham Ferrers, said: “I was really nervous but it was great. She said yes and I think she liked it and that is the most important thing.”
Miss Pindoria said: “I was shocked and had no idea it was going to happen. It is really out of character for him to do something like that.”
The couple, who live in Northampton, are now celebrating the engagement and are planning to wed in early 2014.
Theatre staff say it is the first proposal at a show in a long time.
Stage manager at the Royal & Derngate Melissa Dormer said: “It is the first time in the five years I’ve been here that we’ve had a marriage proposal.
“When Denise found out she was overjoyed to do it. We had to make sure Heena was sitting on the end of the row so her back wouldn’t be to the audience.”