Groom-to-be proposes to girlfriend at theatre where they fell in love

A groom-to-be proposed to his girlfriend at the theatre where they fell in love, while they were both drama students at the University of Essex.

Samuel Bell, 24, popped the question to Charlotte Button, also 24, at Lakeside Theatre in Colchester, where they both now work.

Theatre technician Mr Bell invited Ms Button into the pitch-black amphitheatre pretending he was going to show her some new lights.

But instead he showed a heartfelt presentation about the couple’s six-year relationship and when the lights came up, he bent down on one knee.

The couple, of Wivenhoe, Essex, got engaged on their sixth anniversary last week, with Ms Button saying yes.

“I was so surprised,” she said. “I had no idea he was going to do it.

Samuel Bell, 24, proposed to his girlfriend Charlotte Button, also 24, at the theatre where they fell in love. (University of Essex/ PA)
Samuel Bell, 24, proposed to his girlfriend Charlotte Button, also 24, at the theatre where they fell in love (University of Essex/PA)

“He told me to come in and see the new lights and then a heart appeared on the curtain.

“Then the presentation came on and I was stunned.

“The night before we were talking about our anniversary and I said, ‘Obviously you are not going to propose to me’.

“It is the most romantic thing to ever happen to me especially as it is in the theatre.

“The University of Essex is a big part of our love story, it was where we met and the theatre was where we spent all our time – it is just magical.”

Mr Bell said: “It was more nerve-wracking than any play I have been in but thankfully there were less lines to remember.

“Up until the big day I wasn’t nervous, but it all became very scary when I bent down on one knee and I realised it was going to happen.”

The proposal was made possible by Lakeside Theatre technical manager Harry Harris who operated the lights and sound and recorded the unusual engagement.

And the couple’s wedding day could be just as theatrical, as they hope to get married at The Oakley Court hotel in Berkshire which provided the gothic mansion backdrop in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Theatre manager Kanyinsola Olanrewaju said: “One of the most beautiful things about working in a theatre is seeing people actualise potential on stage and behind the scenes.

“But it is also incredible seeing how theatre creates a community and you meet people who change your life, Samuel and Charlotte are perfect examples of this.

“Everyone at the Lakeside Theatre wishes the happy couple all the best.”