Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Panto Dame Pops the Question at End of Show

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Panto Dame Pops the Question at End of Show

Article excerpt

Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter

STUNNED theatre fans saw a fairytale come true after a panto dame proposed to his partner live on stage.

Andy Chambers had been performing in Little Red Riding Hoody, produced by the St Peter's Pantomime Society at the Crosskeys Community Hall, in Monkseaton.

At the end of the last show on Saturday, director and writer Leanne Gilks was brought on stage to be thanked for her efforts when Andy, still in full costume, got down on one knee and popped the question.

A shocked Leanne burst into tears but said 'yes' promptly.

Leanne, 24, who is also the chairman of the society, said: "I was not expecting this at all. My first thought was 'oh my God!'.

"My brain just turned to mush. I was quite speechless, I couldn't believe it. I was shaking right down to my knees.

"But it was the most perfect moment in my life. I said yes immediately because there were no doubts in my mind.

"Andy picked the perfect place to propose. I have been involved with the society for 13 years and it means a lot to me.

"I'm passionate about it and Andy knows how important it is to me. That's why he decided to propose on stage."

Andy, who is training to be a social worker, and Leanne, who live in Shiremoor, have been together since March last year.

He has been performing standup comedy for many years and joined the theatre group last year. And although he has had parts in other plays in the past, this was the first time he performed as a dame in a pantomime.

He informed their families about his proposal plans in advance and managed to get them to the show.

They were all sitting in the audience as Andy pulled out a ring and asked Leanne to marry him.

The moment was also captured on video and can be seen on YouTube.

Leanne, who has a three-yearold son, Jackson, said: "At the end of the show on a Saturday, they always bring the director forward and say a few words. …

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